Coming soon: Payroll tax to fund long-term care program

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A mandatory payroll tax to fund Washington state’s new long-term care program will start coming out of most workers’ paychecks across the state in January. The insurance benefit is dubbed the WA Cares Fund. It’s a first-in-nation public insurance program aimed at helping older residents age in their own homes. The program has drawn both ire and praise from advocacy groups and politicians. Advocates cite a rapidly aging population and high premiums on the current private long-term-care market. Critics have lambasted the plan as expensive, unnecessary and inflexible in terms of eligibility and payout.