As life expectancies grow and 75 million baby boomers enter old age, policymakers are sounding the alarm about an imminent crisis in long-term care for the elderly. 

Some lawmakers are starting to wonder what they can do to help the millions who take care of their aging family members for free. According to a study by AARP, the care that roughly 40 million Americans deliver to loved ones is worth $470 billion. 

"Families have always been the backbone of our system for caring for people," Kathy Greenlee, the assistant secretary for aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told the Wall Street Journal. "Really, if we didn't have them, we couldn't afford as a country to monetize their care and we couldn't replace, frankly, the love they provide to family members."

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