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Democrat Booker unveils plan for Americans to age at home


By Tim Reid

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker was set to unveil a plan on Monday to greatly increase funding for elderly Americans needing long-term health care, and also to increase funding for people who look after them.

Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey, was due to tell a forum in the early voting state of Iowa that he would make a dramatic investment in care for people with long-term health care needs if he was elected president.

One of the core parts of Booker's plan would be to provide funds so that low- and middle-income Americans could have the choice to age in their own homes, and increase pay for care workers to look after them.

Booker was due to unveil his plan at a forum held by AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, in Des Moines, Iowa. The AARP is a powerful, non-profit organization that advocates for people as they age, and has roughly 40 million members.

Another candidate due at the event was former vice-president Joe Biden, currently leading in the polls of the 25 Democrats vying to become the nominee to take on Republican president Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

"In one of the richest nations in the world, no person should ever go broke or have to quit their job to afford long-term care or to take care of a loved one," Booker said in a statement before his scheduled speech.

Booker said his plan would ensure that all low- and middle-income seniors and people with disabilities would have access to services through Medicaid, a federal and state program to assist low-income Americans.

Booker said he would pay for his plan by changes to the tax code, including reforming the capital gains, estate and income tax provisions of the code.

(Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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