LTC Bullet:  LTC Gadflies 

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 


LTC Comment:  How shall we get long-term care on the political front burner during the coming presidential campaign season?  Join the "LTC Gadflies" after the ***news.*** 


*** LTCI CONFERENCE.  Are you coming to the "Seventh Annual Inter-Company LTCI Conference" in Dallas March 25-27, 2007?  If you haven't registered and made your travel plans yet, now's the time.  Check it out at *** 

*** LTC ALMANAC.  Everything you need to know in one place.  The Center for Long-Term Care Reform's new "Almanac of Long-Term Care" is an indispensable information resource for anyone claiming expertise in the complicated, constantly changing field of LTC.  Feedback so far on the Almanac?  "Fabulous."  "Excellent."  "Like Christmas and birthday all rolled into one."  But the Almanac is for Center members only.  If you'd like a sneak peek at the Almanac, contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or  He'll give you a temporary user name and password to enter "The Zone," the Center's members-only website, where you'll find the "Almanac of Long-Term Care" and many other valuable information resources.  If you like what you see, tell Damon "I'm in" and he'll give you permanent access to The Zone and start our e-publications coming to you even while your "check is in the mail." *** 

*** NYT ARTICLE.  Remember that New York Times op-ed we took to task last week in a letter to the editor?  (LTC E-Alert #7-008:  Our Response to NYT Op-Ed "Escape From the Nursing Home" at  One of our readers, Stephen Monroe, also a newsletter publisher, sent this letter to the New York Times about the same piece: 

"As Mr. Rosofsky points out in 'Escape From the Nursing Home,' people who don't need skilled nursing care often end up in a nursing home because Medicaid will cover the cost.  What he does not address is why so many people don't choose assisted living, which is half the cost, or home health care.  The answer, of course, is that few people plan for their long-term care needs, whether $75,000 a year for a nursing home or $36,000 a year for an assisted living facility (and more in the NYC metro area).  People want to stay at home as long as they can, but that gets expensive when the need is beyond three hours a day, and the children of our elderly seem to know all too well that the faster a parent can qualify for Medicaid, in a nursing facility, the larger their inheritance, if anything is left.  Alternatively, the cost per day of long-term care insurance for a high-end policy when you are in your 40's is less than the cost of a cup of coffee each day at Starbucks.  If people want choices when they are 85, perhaps they should make some spending choices today.  But don't count on sharing an apartment with two strangers, pooling your funds for a 24-hour aide and using the money left over for 'fun and frolic.'  That is just silly." 

Did this letter to the editor come from an insurance agent?  No.  Steve Monroe is the publisher of "The SeniorCare Investor," a well-known and highly regarded newsletter that tracks "The inside story on mergers and acquisitions in nursing homes, assisted and independent senior living."  Check it out at *** 



LTC Comment:  Wikipedia defines "Gadfly" as "a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant." 

Don't you think it's about time somebody upset the long-term care status quo by asking some tough questions and speaking truth to power?  Join the Center for Long-Term Care Reform's "LTC Gadfly" brigade.  Here's what we have in mind. 

I'm going to "take the show on the road" in 2008.  Call it the "National Long-Term Care Consciousness Tour."  Details will follow in the months ahead.  But here's the basic idea: 

I'll visit each of six zones of the continental United States for a month or two during the presidential election year.  While there, I'll work with Regional Representatives of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform to raise the long-term care issue with politicians, policy makers, the public and the media. 

We'll ask the tough POLICY questions.  Who should pay for long-term care?  How can Medicaid be a safety net for the poor AND the main LTC payor for nearly everyone?  Where will the money come from for public financing when boomers retire and draw down Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? 

We'll ask the tough PERSONAL questions.  Who will pay for YOUR long-term care?  Are you insured for that risk?  Have your parents or grandparents used Medicaid for LTC?  Did you or they consult a Medicaid planner?  Did you pay Medicaid back out of the estate or take the windfall for yourself?  

We'll write op-ed articles.  We'll meet with newspaper editorial boards.  We'll do talk radio.  We'll engage politicians and public officials.  We'll enlist LTC providers.  We'll educate financial planners and accountants.  We'll address Estate Planning Councils.  We'll work with reverse mortgage lenders. 

We'll rock the boat but we'll do it with HUMOR and GOOD WILL. 

Is this something you might like to do with us?  If so, let me know.  Just reply to this email or contact me directly at .  

Right now we're only gauging interest.  We'll firm up plans over the coming year.  In the meantime, I want to begin to mobilize our gadfly brigade.  If you respond and want to participate, here's what will happen. 

We'll put you on a list of LTC Gadflies who will periodically receive special notices about our plans. 

You'll be invited to participate in monthly "webinars" when we get to the stage of planning regional strategies. 

You'll be invited to take our "LTC Graduate Seminar" by webinar.  It will be a ten-week course, one hour per week, and a pre-requisite for all Regional Reps.  Check it out at

If you're still interested when it comes time for the field work and you qualify as a Regional Representative of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, we'll work together on planning, scheduling, and financing.  

While there will have to be some up-front investment, I believe that Regional Reps will net a positive cash flow based on connecting with valuable centers of influence and attracting new business.