LTC Bullet:  LTC Embed:  Report from the Policy Front in New England 

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 

LTC Comment:  Our report from the LTC policy front in New England after the ***news.*** 

*** SYNDICATED COLUMNIST ON OUR SIDE:  With all the bad publicity about LTC providers and insurers, it's good to know a few thoughtful reporters and commentators understand long-term care and tell it "like it is."  Terry Savage of the Chicago Sun Times is one of those friends of responsible LTC planning.  See, for example, her "Memorial Day" column at http://www.suntimes.com/business/savage/403653,CST-FIN-terry28.savagearticle, which said:  "Re-arranging assets to qualify for Medicaid.  Every week I receive an e-mail asking about the rules for spending down assets or giving them away to family members so a parent can qualify for state-provided (Medicaid) custodial care.  With all due respect to the hard-working and underpaid people who work in these nursing homes, a state-funded nursing home is absolutely the last place you'd want your parents to spend their final days.  But the real question is whether it is moral -- or a fitting memorial -- to those who served to ask taxpayers to cover the costs of care for the aged while their children spend their parents' money?  Is that the sacrifice we want to memorialize?  SOLUTION: Long-term-care insurance.  It gives you choice of care, and saves your assets for your children who can enjoy them without guilt."   Hear, hear! *** 

*** DRA OPPOSITION CRUMBLES:  Remember all the bunk about how the Medicaid eligibility changes in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 would prevent "millions" of frail and infirm elderly Americans from obtaining critically need long-term care?  An Alabama Medicaid planning attorney sued to repeal the DRA.  So did a bunch of members of Congress.  As did Public Citizen, the advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader.  Most of those lawsuits have been thrown out of court.  The latest to bite the dust is the Public Citizen suit.  One still standing was filed by the Medicaid planner, a member (wouldn't you know it?) of the infamous National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Medicaid planners' trade and lobbying association.  We'll let you know what happens with that one. *** 

*** LTC PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT:  Mark Meiners, Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy, Research & Ethics at George Mason University, has announced the revival of the LTC Education Foundation (which previously put on the original 17-year-running "Private LTC Insurance Conference") for the purpose of sponsoring "The First Annual Partnership Summit:  Charting the Future of Long-Term Care Insurance" to be held August 1-2, 2007 in Arlington, VA.  The meeting begins with a "pre-conference" on July 31.  For all the details and to register, go to http://www.gmu.edu/departments/chpre/ltcedfoundation/. *** 

*** LTCI PRICE INDEX:  Jesse Slome and the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) have announced the release of the "2007 National Long-Term Care Price Index."  Find the details at http://www.aaltci.org/subpages/media_room/story_pages/media070107.html.  Watch for "full findings" in "LTCi Sales Strategies Magazine," a resource sent to all members of AALTCI, a fine organization you can join at its website:  www.aaltci.org. *** 

*** REFERRALS.  Thank you for reading the Center for Long-Term Care Reform's latest "LTC Bullets" newsletter.  If you know someone who would be interested in this publication, please recommend us by clicking here http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/recommendus.htm.   If you have received this edition as a forward, and would like your own subscription, you may subscribe here http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/subscribe_to_bullets.htm.  Thank you. ***  

 

LTC BULLET:  LTC EMBED:  REPORT FROM THE POLICY FRONT IN NEW ENGLAND 

LTC Comment:  As Center for Long-Term Care Reform members know from our daily "LTC E-Alerts," I'm in New England conducting a series of briefings on long-term care financing policy.  If you missed those reports and would like to follow our progress, check out the Center's LTC Blog at www.centerltc.com

In a nutshell, I started last Thursday with an address to 300 reverse mortgage lenders at a "Financial Freedom" conference in Orlando.  Then I met with a group of state legislators, hospital CEOs and top-level state officials in Randolph, Vermont.  Capping that day was a brief visit with VT Governor Jim Douglas and a planning session with Ethan Allen Institute Executive Director John McClaughry (www.ethanallen.org). 

After a weekend visit to Harley Gordon's CLTC "VIP Study Group" conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, I returned to New England for a brainstorming session in Boston with representatives of Fidelity Investments and its newly formed Fidelity Research Institute (www.fidelityresearchinstitute.com).  See my report "Fidelity to LTC" on the Blog.    

Next came an excellent visit in Hartford, Connecticut with the Executive Director and a bright young policy analyst for the Yankee Institute (www.yankeeinstitute.org).  The Yankee Institute is beginning an important study of long-term care financing in Connecticut and we did our best to point them in some promising directions. 

The Center for Long-Term Care Reform is proud to count MetLife among our corporate members.  We also place great value on the research produced by the MetLife Mature Market Institute (http://www.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/WPS/CDA/PageGenerator/0,2752,P2801,00.html).  So a visit with Jodi Anatole and David Acselrod at the company's headquarters in Westport, CT made perfect sense and proved very worthwhile.  Jodi will be one of the Yankee Institute's first interviewees for its study of long-term care financing. 

I find myself this morning in Concord, New Hampshire about to meet with Executive Director Charles Arlinghaus of the Josiah Bartlett Institute (www.jbartlett.org).  Center member Roberta Brayer, who is active in LTC public policy advocacy, will join us to discuss strategy and tactics in the state known for its "live free or die" motto. 

Tomorrow, I'll be in Boothbay Harbor, Maine for a meeting with representatives of the Maine Heritage Policy Center (www.mainepolicy.org) and the Maine Health Care Association (www.mehca.org).  Maine is struggling to fund LTC for a growing elderly population with a declining workforce of younger people.  New ideas and unconventional strategies designed to break the LTC public policy logjam will be the order of the day. 

By the time I wrap up this jaunt, I'll have been in nine different hotels in as many days.  And ready for a respite:  a lazy return to the West by train across Canada.  So if your reading load from the Center lightens up for awhile, that's why.