LTC Bullet: What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seattle--

LTC Comment: Our annual recounting of the Center's efforts (including our 2008 LTC Tour) toward better long-term care financing policy and our appeal for your new or continued support follows the ***news.***

*** STATEHOUSECALL.ORG, the State Policy Network's (www.spn.org) blog covers LTC Tour's successful completion of "28,028 Miles on the Road" at http://www.statehousecall.org/28028-miles-on-the-road ." ***

*** PHYLLIS SHELTON SAYS read and share these two good articles about LTC insurance: "Expected rising costs make long-term policy attractive," by Mary Steichen in NewsOK AND "How You Can Rebuild Your Wealth," by Reshma Kapadia, Janet Paskin and Brad Reagan," in SmartMoney.com on December 9, 2008 which says: "Basically, long-term care insurance is a must." ***

*** JESSE SLOME'S OTHER MEETING: The only national conference exclusively focused on Medicare Supplement Insurance will be held May 4-6, 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Organized by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, the conference program focuses on sales and marketing as well as pricing and administrative issues. The complete program is now available online: www.medsupinsurance.org or call (818) 597-3205. ***

*** LTC TOUR FEEDBACK. Kind words and good wishes are pouring in. Examples follow, for which, many thanks to our wonderful friends, colleagues and supporters of the Center.

From Paul Forte, CEO, LTC Partners (www.ltcpartners.com): "Just read your latest and wanted to congratulate you on your triumphant return to Seattle. Amazing feat of work, planning, and sheer will power. My hat's off to you."

From Jesse Slome, President of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (www.aaltci.org): "Congratulations on a most successful year." 

From: Sally Leimbach of FranklinMorris (www.franklinmorris.com) and the Center's Regional Representative for Maryland: "What can I, or anyone who cares about the issues of your mission, say but, THANK YOU!! And thanks be that you are home safe and sound with incredible tales to tell. It reminds me of Lewis and Clark who also, incredibly, returned safe and sound, with incredible tales to tell. What a life achievement you have accomplished . . . You may not have been in Iraq or Afghanistan, but for a man 'your age' you were able to stay on the front line of a tough 'war' for a whole year. Even the Marines only require six months at a time! Always in Admiration, Sally" 

From CLTCR Regional Reps Gail Lindsey and Jason Hillner of Lindsey and Associates in Chattanooga, TN (www.lindseyassociatesltc.com): "BRAVO for a year of 'blood, sweat & tears' . . . I predict as you recap and see what the years ahead bring from your efforts (and Damon, of course) that it was all worthwhile. Jason and I take our hats off to you. We continue to glow in our small part in making history happen." [All three television networks covered the LTC Tour thanks to Lindsey and Associates' hard promotion work.]

From Bob Pagel, LTCI Specialist and Naples, Florida Regional Representative: "Congratulations! You are the greatest. No one can equal your effort. Anyone selling long term care insurance owes you big time. Hopefully, when the history of long term care is written you will be given proper credit. Americans are eternally indebted to your effort to save the system." 

From Honey Leveen, self-proclaimed "Queen of LTCI" and Houston Regional Rep for the Center (www.honeyleveen.com): "Thanks for the great sacrifices you've made for our cause. Are you exhausted or invigorated from your year-long odyssey?"

Answer: Definitely invigorated! What a year of opportunity we have ahead. ***


LTC BULLET: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?

LTC Comment: Thanks to the support of our individual and corporate members, and LTC Tour Regional Representatives, 2008 has been a very productive and successful year for your Center for Long-Term Care Reform. Today's LTC Bullet will list some of the year's accomplishments.

Together we have made a big difference this year. We can again. 2009 will be a year of enormous opportunity for accomplishing our objectives. State budgets are in arrears; Medicaid, especially its long-term care component, is stressed to the breaking point; Governors and state legislators will be eager to learn how to save Medicaid money while improving the program; and we have a chance at the federal level to build on the tremendous progress made in DRA '05, which was a direct result of the last, much less severe recession.

Do you think the new federal Administration will be reticent about our proposals? Think again. Saving Medicaid for the needy is a fairness issue. Why use scarce public welfare resources to indemnify upper middle class heirs of affluent seniors against LTC costs? They're probably Republicans anyway! (Smile.) I mean that comment in good humor, but you know . . . it may just be true. Anyway, everyone regardless of political affiliation should favor saving the Medicaid LTC safety net for the poor and encouraging responsible LTC planning and rational LTC public policy for everyone. And that's what the Center for Long-Term Care Reform is all about.

Bottom line, all the ducks are in a row for major public policy progress in 2009 . . . with your support!

But for now, let's look back on 2008.

Of course, the Center's big news for this year is the successful completion of our 2008 National Long-Term Care Consciousness Tour. I'll do a narrative report soon featuring highlights of the LTC Tour. For now, just the bare facts:

On December 27, 2007, the Center for Long-Term Care Reform purchased a 2008 "Titanium Metallic" (i.e., silver) FJ Cruiser and a 16-foot 2008 Airstream trailer. All year long, we added decals to the "Silver Bullet of LTC" honoring corporate sponsors of the LTC Tour. I lived in it for a year, eating and sleeping nine out of ten nights in RV (Recreational Vehicle) Parks all across the land. See "LTC Bullet: Livin' in Aluminum," Thursday, April 24, 2008 at http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/archives2008/757.htm for more.

We worked closely with LTC Tour "coordinating sponsor" GoldenCareUSA (www.goldencareusa.com) to seek corporate sponsors for the Tour, design and print elegant presentation packets, and coordinate events all around the country. Special thanks to Lenny Anderson, Todd Anderson, Mark Randall, Andrea McGauley, and GC's Regional Directors for their extraordinary support and encouragement all year long. 

We will recognize the LTC Tour's corporate sponsors and Regional Representatives soon in the LTC Tour Special Report. As always, deep appreciation is due the Center's VP for Administration, Damon Moses, for holding down the fort and keeping everything going and up to date in my absence. My wife, Judith, who does the Center's books, deserves sincere appreciation too. The question I was asked on the road most often all year was: "What does your wife think of your being away so much?" My stock answer: "How do you think we stayed married 42 years?" Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

The LTC Tour concluded on December 15, 2008 after covering 28,028 miles, 41 states, and over 100 RV Parks; consuming 127 tanks of gas with prices from $1.80 to $4.50 per gallon; and touching hundreds of thousands of people with our message of responsible long-term care planning and rational LTC public policy. Now, here are the rest of the numbers.

CENTER AND LTC TOUR ACHIVEMENTS FOR 2008:

Print Media: Coverage in 20 newspaper and magazine articles including Terry Savage's nationally syndicated financial column in the Chicago Sun Times ("The Savage Truth".)

Electronic Media: 8 TV shows, 15 "talk radio" shows, 2 "podcasts."

We created "LTC-TV" and posted 36 formal interviews and humorous or informational vignettes on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/LTCConsciousnessTour. Check 'em out!

91 formal presentations of 1 to 8 hours each (most providing continuing education credit) to 4,467 attendees including NAIFA, NAHU, FPA, Estate Planning Council and many other audiences as of 12/15/8. Average attendance per event: 49.

20 special briefings for media (including Kelly Greene of the Wall Street Journal); Congressional staff (including Senator Judd Gregg's health policy advisor; majority and minority staff of U.S. House Medicaid committee); state legislators (including Tennessee, California, Louisiana); state Medicaid directors (including TennCare Director and Deputy); international experts (including representatives of UK Prime Minister); think tank analysts (including Heritage Foundation, Heartland Institute and Centers for Strategic and International Studies); Wall Street analysts (for Gerson Lehrman); academics (including Karnes Professor of Finance at U. of Illinois, Urbana Champaign).

We kept up our "daily e-publications":

55 "LTC Bullets" published as of #791 on 12/17/8, today. All LTC Bullets are archived chronologically and by topic at http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/index.htm

123 "LTC E-Alerts" published as of 12/16/8, yesterday. All LTC E-Alerts are archived in "The Zone" for Center members with password-protected access at http://www.centerltc.com/members/ltc_week_in_review.htm

5 bylined articles by Steve Moses published: 3 for Broker World, 1 for Health Insurance Underwriter, and 1 for Airstream Life

Presented report on our major study (conducted in 2007) at Shaftesbury Luncheon of the John Locke Foundation on January 21, 2008 in Raleigh, NC: Stephen A. Moses, "Long-Term Care Financing in North Carolina: Good Intentions, Ambitious Efforts, Unintended Consequences," John Locke Foundation, Raleigh, North Carolina, January 2008, http://www.johnlocke.org/site-docs/policyreports/NC_LTC_finance.pdf .

Attended three industry conferences (two with the Silver Bullet of LTC): National Long-Term Care Producers Summit in Atlanta, February 24-26, 2006; Eighth Annual Intercompany LTC Insurance Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, March 16-19, 2008; and the 59th annual convention of the American Health Care Association at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN on October 6-7, 2008.

That's about it for the hard numbers, but consider this. Most cars that passed the Silver Bullet took notice. Drivers and passengers smiled and waved. Many queried me at gas stations. Fellow campers at RV Parks all across the county--they often in big, expensive rigs--asked about the diminutive Silver Bullet, the LTC Tour and long-term care. I'm confident our Platinum, Gold, and Silver Sponsors got value, with their logos on the Silver Bullet.

In all, the LTC Tour touched many, many people with a critical message. Plan for LTC through the windshield, based on what's coming; not through the rear-view mirror based on how LTC was funded in the past. Everything is about to change. You won't get access to quality LTC unless you can pay privately. So plan early and save, invest or insure for the risk and cost of LTC.

That's our story and we're sticking to it in 2009.

Clearly, the job that must be done is by no means finished. Our mission is to achieve universal access to top quality long-term care at the most appropriate level for all Americans.

We pursue that mission by encouraging most people to plan, save, invest and insure to pay for their own long-term care as a means to preserve and improve Medicaid as a LTC safety net for the needy. 

Won't you help us carry on this important mission for another year? Join the Center. Read our publications. Share them with others, especially local reporters and public policy makers. Get involved with our 2009 "Save Medicaid LTC" campaign. (On which, all the details soon.)

Annual dues are only $150 for individuals and negotiable for corporations and organizations. Contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or damon@centerltc.com to join. He'll quickly get you into "The Zone," in receipt of all our e-publications, and enjoying all the benefits of membership.