LTC Bullet:  Memory Lane (1998-2001)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seattle—

LTC Comment:  The Center for Long-Term Care Reform celebrated its 14th anniversary on April 1, 2012.  Let’s have a look back at a few of the 958 LTC Bullets the Center has published so far.  But first:

*** AN ENDORSEMENT FOR THE CENTER FOR LONG-TERM CARE REFORM

In response to our last LTC E-Alert, we received this endorsement from Robert Callanan. Mr. Callanan has been a faithful Center supporter for over a decade, supported many of our projects, sponsored speaking events and is even a Center alumnus. We’re proud to have him as a member and we thank him for his hard work, dedication and exceptional contribution to the mission of protecting Americans from the risk and cost of long-term care. Here’s the endorsement:

“I strongly recommend that EVERY LTCi ‘Professional’ SUBSCRIBE to and SUPPORT the CENTER for LONG-TERM CARE REFORM, and receive their own ‘LTC-E-Alerts’... the minimum $150.00 annual membership is one of the best ‘Business Expenses’ a SERIOUS LTCi PROFESSIONAL should gladly incur ... next to being an ACTIVE MEMBER of the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE (AALTCI) !!!  This latter for only $98.00, annually! Respectfully / bob”

Be like Bob. If you value the content you receive in these LTC Bullets, please consider supporting your Center for Long-Term Care Reform. Your contribution not only gets you all of our LTC Bullets newsletters, it gets you access to our password-protected Members-Only Zone and members-only emails designed to keep you on the forefront of LTC knowledge and supports our extensive program of speaking, publication, education and advocacy in favor of sensible long-term care planning and policy. For further information on membership benefits, please click here. It’s easy to join our mission; just click here. If you have any questions, please contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or damon@centerltc.com. ***

 

LTC BULLET:  MEMORY LANE

LTC Comment:  LTC Bullets began as brief news items before email was commonplace.  I’d write them and put hard copies into the mailboxes of LTC, Inc.’s 50 regional offices.  (After leaving federal service in 1989, I joined LTC, Inc., which managed AMEX Life’s and later GE’s captive agent force.)  The regional offices would photo copy each Bullet and distribute them to the company’s approximately 1,000 agents around the USA.  At its height, before GE purchased the company, LTC, Inc. sold an average of $3 million in premium per week.

After GE bought LTC, Inc. in 1997, attorney David Rosenfeld and I started the Center for LTC Financing in 1998 with GE’s help.  The Center changed its name—“Financing” became “Reform”—in 2005.  We continued to publish the LTC Bullets but they gradually became longer and more like op-ed articles expressing a point of view regarding LTC financing policy. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll bring you a retrospective of the LTC Bullets, kind of a walk down Memory Lane.  What follows for each year of publication is the title of the LTC Bullet, a hyperlink to the original, the date of publication and a brief quote.  If you’re interested, click through to read the original Bullet

For a survey of the history of LTC financing since 1998, check out our LTC Bullets archives here.  You’ll find every Bullet ever published organized both chronologically and by topic.  Note that you can also “search” the Center’s entire website by entering a search term here

1998 LTC Bullets

LTC Bullet #1:  “Center for Long-Term Care Financing Established;  ‘LTC Bullets’ Opening Salvo,” May 15, 1998:  “Stephen Moses and David Rosenfeld have established the Center for Long-Term Care Financing.  The Center’s mission is to promote universal access to top-quality long-term care by encouraging private financing and discouraging welfare financing of long-term care for most Americans.”

LTC Bullet #2:  “CNN Update on ‘Send Granny's Lawyer to Jail Law,’” May 21, 1998:  “The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 criminalized professional assistance with certain Medicaid asset transfers made to qualify clients for Medicaid's long-term care benefits.  This law, dubbed the ‘Send Granny's Lawyer to Jail Law,’ is the latest in a series of attempts by eight U.S. Congresses and three Presidents to curb aggressive Medicaid planning. . . .   In a recent national broadcast, CNN interpreted these events as putting Medicaid planning ‘back on solid legal ground.’  Did it?  What message do these developments send to American taxpayers?  Stephen Moses, President of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing, is featured in the CNN story . . ..”

LTC Bullet #17:  “First Lady Speaks Her Mind on LTC,” July 10, 1998:  “First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is this month's feature interview on Mr. Long-Term Care's web site . . ..  Mrs. Clinton endorses additional savings and long-term care insurance as ways middle-class families can pay for high quality care in light of the fact that nationalized long-term care is not on the horizon.  [Mrs.] Clinton also expresses the Administration's concern about people ‘gaming the Medicaid system to preserve their wealth’ and favorably refers to the Balanced Budget Act provisions criminalizing professional assistance with certain Medicaid asset transfers.”

LTC Bullet #27:  “Center Launches New Web Site,” August 26, 1998:  “The Center for Long-Term Care Financing in Seattle, WA is now a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week resource on the internet at www.centerltc.com. . . .  a comprehensive web site featuring the Center's LTC Bullets, resources for media covering LTC-related issues, and a catalog of studies and reports which explain systematically how to achieve universal access to top-quality long-term care across the spectrum of care settings.”

LTC Bullet #47:  “‘LTC Choice’ and the Future of Long-Term Care,” December 1, 1998:  “Principals of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing spent a productive week in Washington, D.C. in mid-November.  Steve Moses, President and David Rosenfeld, V.P. and Chief Counsel, briefed 13 key constituencies on ‘LTC Choice,’ the Center's creative new proposal for long-term care financing reform.  Moses addressed a National Press Club Forum, gave two national radio interviews, and attended the First National Long-Term Care Forum, a training conference for long-term care insurance agents.  Moses and Rosenfeld monitored the 10th anniversary Advanced Elder Law Institute of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).”    

LTC Bullet #50:  “Clinton Considering LTC Tax Credits,” December 7, 1998:  “The Wall Street Journal reported today (12/7/98) that the Clinton administration is working on a proposal to provide tax credits to defray the cost of long-term care for the elderly and disabled.  Clinton aides say the proposal is a leading candidate to be in the President's fiscal 2000 budget.  Although details of the package are unfinished, the cost is expected to be in the range of $5 billion over five years.”

1999 LTC Bullets

LTC Bullet #58:  “Dr. Feelgood's LTC Prescription,” January 8, 1999:  “Last Monday, President Clinton and Vice President Gore unveiled an ‘historic long-term care initiative to support family caregivers and help address growing long-term care needs.’  All week long, praise for this plan from interest groups and advocates has filled the newswires and airwaves.  The Center for Long-Term Care Financing has a different, somewhat contrarian opinion of the proposal. . . .  What if you needed a root canal, but your dentist prescribed novocaine instead?  You'd feel better for awhile, but sooner or later you would writhe in agony, lose the tooth and blame the doctor.  President Clinton's new long-term care plan is like that:  great short-term politics, but terrible long-term public policy.”  Read more of Steve Moses’s op-ed in this Bullet.

LTC Bullet #75:  “U.S. President Debates Center President,” March 3, 1999:  “The February 1999 issue of McKnight's Long-Term Care News contains a point/counterpoint column entitled "Endorse the White House LTC Plan?"  In this article, U.S. President Bill Clinton makes the case for his new four-point long-term care plan.  Center for Long-Term Care Financing President Stephen Moses presents the counter argument.  Excerpts from both positions follow [in the Bullet].”

LTC Bullet #80:  “Center VP Argues Dangers of Medicaid Planning,” March 16, 1999:  “David Rosenfeld, Vice President and Chief Counsel of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing, has authored a provocative essay on protecting seniors from abusive Medicaid planning.  His essay, entitled ‘Whose Decision Is It Anyway?:  Identifying the Medicaid Planning Client,’ appears in the current volume of the University of Illinois Elder Law Journal (Vol. 6, No. 2, 1999), the preeminent academic journal devoted to elder law issues.  The Center for Long-Term Care Financing opposes Medicaid planning as dangerous to seniors and counterproductive to genuine long-term care reform.  Mr. Rosenfeld's essay explores the added risk to seniors when attorneys fail to protect them in the Medicaid planning setting.” 

LTC Bullet #87:  “New Group Seeks Consensus on LTC Reform,” April 5, 1999:  “Former Senator David Durenberger [R-MN] today launched Citizens for Long Term Care, a coalition designed to compel policy leaders to reform our nation's system of financing access to and delivery of long term care services for the nation's aging and disabilities communities.”

LTC Bullet #101:  “HCFA Tells States to Prepare for Looming Crisis,” May 21, 1999:  “Earlier this month, Sally Richardson, Director of the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) Center for Medicaid and State Operations, warned state Medicaid directors that several nursing home chains reporting significant financial difficulties may close or at least withdraw from the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  Ms. Richardson's May 7, 1999 letter, reprinted below, is more evidence that a growing number of nursing homes are struggling to survive on insufficient public financing.”

LTC Bullet #108:  “Veterans' Benefits Might Not Pay for LTC,” June 29, 1999:  “As the baby boom generation ages, and public resources for long-term care financing dwindle, many veterans are counting on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to finance their long-term care.  What they don't realize is that while VA rules allow the VA to finance long-term care, they do not require the VA to finance long-term care (Szczygiel,1996).”  For a long list of reasons why veterans cannot count on the VA for long-term care see our special section in The Zone here

LTC Bullet #122:  “On Rich Bankrupts and Wealthy Welfarers,” August 13, 1999:  “The following is a letter to the editor of the New York Times by Center for Long-Term Care Financing President Stephen Moses commenting on an editorial in today's (8/13/99) issue. . . .  Your excellent editorial in today's paper (‘Protecting Rich Bankrupts,’ August 13, 1999) observes that unlimited homestead exemptions in Florida and Texas enable bankrupts to ‘protect their homes from creditors no matter how much they are worth.’  Did you know there is much more to this problem than just another way ‘the formerly wealthy have of stiffing creditors’?  Taxpayers and the elderly are victimized by the same phenomenon.”

LTC Bullet #127:  “Study Shows Most Can Afford LTC Insurance,” September 1, 1999:  “The following press release announces the publication of ‘The Myth of Unaffordability,’ the Center for Long-Term Care Financing's new white paper.  Hard copies of this press release reached 11,000 recipients by postal mail earlier this week.  Inquiries and orders are already pouring in from the media, Congress, state legislators, senior advocates, provider associations, and the long-term care insurance industry.  Mr. LTC (the top-notch LTC web site at www.mrltc.com) calls the report a ‘must-read!’ and provides a sizeable excerpt.  Center President Stephen Moses will conduct briefings on ‘The Myth of Unaffordability’ and ‘LTC Choice’ in Washington, DC from October 5 to October 15, 1999.”

LTC Bullet 135:  “Cato Institute Policy Forum Will Feature Center's Report,” September 22, 1999:  “The Cato Institute will sponsor a policy forum entitled ‘The Coming Crisis in LTC Financing’ on Wednesday, October 13, 1999 . . .  It will feature a presentation by Center for Long-Term Care Financing President Stephen Moses on the Center's new ‘Myth of Unaffordability’ report and a response by Urban Institute Principal Research Associate Joshua Wiener, Ph.D.  Other panelists are yet to be finalized, but will include representatives of seniors' organizations.”

LTC Bullet #156:  “Heritage LTC Program Tomorrow,” December 6, 1999:  “Don't miss ‘The Long-Term Health Care Crisis:  How Can We Solve It?’ sponsored by the Heritage Foundation at 12:00pm EST tomorrow (12/7/99) in Heritage's Lehrman Auditorium (214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE in Washington, DC).  Center for LTC Financing President Stephen Moses will speak along with Richard Teske, former Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

2000 LTC Bullets

LTC Bullet #164:  “LA Times Highlights Center's LTC Choice Plan,” January 11, 2000:  “Last Sunday's (1/9/00) Los Angeles Times contained an op-ed piece by Betsy McCaughey Ross entitled ‘Bradley's Plan is a Loss for Seniors.’  Most of the article critiques presidential contender Bill Bradley's health care plan.  The excerpt below, however, explains why the Center for Long-Term Care Financing's LTC Choice plan would be a more sensible approach.  Ms. McCaughey Ross is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and former Lieutenant Governor of New York state.”

LTC Bullet #174:  “LTC Rising in Congress,” March 3, 2000:  “Center for LTC Financing President Stephen Moses addressed an audience of House staffers in Washington, DC on February 25th regarding the long-term care financing crisis.  Rep. Nancy Johnson's office (Republican of Connecticut) sponsored the briefing.   Moses shared the podium with Mark Meiners of the University of  Maryland--the father of the LTC Partnership Program--and Marc Cohen of LifePlans and Brandeis University--a leading LTC scholar.”

LTC Bullet #179:  “LTC on NPR,” March 20, 2000:  “Center for Long-Term Care Financing President Stephen Moses has taped an ‘LTC Commentary’ for broadcast on National Public Radio.  It is one in a series of invited commentaries on a broad range of health-related issues slated for ‘Health Care Day’ on April 1, 2000.  The piece will air first on Shawn Dudley's ‘Health Show,’ Thursday, March 23rd.  Listeners within a seven-state reach of WAMC in Albany, New York can hear the show live then.  On the same day, it will go up on the NPR satellite.  After that, it will be available to 157 mostly-NPR stations nationwide and to the armed forces radio system for broadcast immediately or with a week or two lag.  Check your local listings.”

LTC Bullet #189:  “Moses Keynotes LTC Insurance Conference,” May 17, 2000:  “Center for LTC Financing President Stephen Moses delivered the keynote address at ‘Advanced Strategies for Long Term Care Insurance,’ a conference sponsored by International Business Communications (IBC) in Chicago on March 22, 2000.  After the speech, entitled ‘Pigs, Pythons and Politics:  How to Survive the Aging of the Baby Boom,’ Moses debated the Urban Institute's Principal Research Associate Joshua Wiener on the topic of ‘Public vs. Private Long Term Care Financing.’  To read the ‘Pigs, Pythons, and Politics’ lecture, visit the Center's web site at www.centerltc.com where a transcription has been posted.”

LTC Bullet #218:  “Center President Anchors LTCI Conference,” October 3, 2000:  “Center for LTC Financing President Stephen Moses is the featured speaker at the closing general session of Life Insurance Selling's (LIS) first-ever Long-Term Care Sales & Marketing Consortium, which will be held in Chicago at the Swissotel, October 26-28, 2000.  Life Insurance Selling is one of the nation's premier publications for insurance professionals.  The Center is very supportive of LIS' growing focus on long-term care evidenced in LIS' content and events such as this inaugural Long-Term Care Sales & Marketing Consortium.  The event will provide a great opportunity to network with leaders from across the country and to gather valuable information.”

LTC Bullet #221:  “The LTC Triathlon,” October 13, 2000:  “Once a year, The Center for Long-Term Care Financing conducts a major research project.  We call this year's project ‘The LTC Triathlon.’  That metaphor refers to the fact that America is in a race for survival to develop a long-term care service delivery and financing system that actually works before the baby boomer generation needs one.  Center staff interviewed 119 of the leading financiers (lenders and investors), providers (home care, assisted living, and nursing homes) and insurers (agents, brokers and carriers) of long-term care in the United States.  Our objective was to learn (1) what these key players know about each other's businesses, (2) how they account for the current malaise in long-term care service delivery and financing, and (3) what they think ought to be done to improve the situation.  We have collected some dynamite material including many ‘colorful’ quotes.”

LTC Bullet #237:  “The Fall and Rise of Long-Term Care,” December 18, 2000:  “LTC Bullets readers often ask us for sample speeches from which they can draw ideas to use in their own public addresses.  We've obliged occasionally by posting transcripts of lectures delivered by Center President Steve Moses on our website at www.centerltc.org.  We've received so much positive feedback on these postings that we have decided to add more of Steve's talks to the site.  The speech we are posting today is titled "The Fall and Rise of Long-Term Care." . . .  This lecture traces the history of long-term care service delivery and financing, explains how government reimbursement and regulation dramatically affected the long-term care marketplace, and proposes a new public policy toward long-term care designed to correct deficiencies in the current system.  Anyone who wonders ‘How in the world did long-term care get into such a mess?’  will find value in this presentation.”

2001 LTC Bullets

LTC Bullet #247:  “Reality Check:  Budish and Gordon on LTCI and Medicaid Planning,” February 12, 2001:  “There was a time when we lumped Armond Budish (best-selling author of the Medicaid estate planning self-help book ‘Avoiding the Medicaid Trap’) and Harley Gordon (‘How to Protect Your Life Savings from Catastrophic Illness and Nursing Homes’) together as advocates of Medicaid planning and bashers of long-term care insurance.  Boy, have times changed!  Budish continues the same old schtick, but nowadays, Gordon advocates private insurance thoughtfully and criticizes Medicaid planning intensely.”

LTC Bullet #256:  “Center President Tackles New Constellation of LTC Issues,” March 12, 2001:  “Center for LTC Financing President Stephen Moses addressed the ticklish subject of ‘Long-Term Care Due Diligence for Professional Financial Advisers’ on national conference calls February 14 and February 28, 2001.  The audience was primarily attorneys, accountants and financial planners for high net-worth individuals. Steve's advice in a nutshell: you have a fiduciary responsibility to your clients (1) to apprise them of the long-term care risk, (2) to propose responsible financial planning solutions, and (3) to warn them about the dubious practice of ‘Medicaid estate planning.’”

LTC Bullet #272:  “How to Avoid the Long-Term Care Trap,” May 11, 2001:  “LTC Bullets readers often ask us for sample speeches from which they can draw ideas to use in their own public addresses.  We've obliged occasionally by posting transcripts of lectures delivered by Center for LTC Financing President Steve Moses on our website at www.centerltc.org.  We've received so much positive feedback on these postings that we have decided to add more of Steve's talks to the site.  The speech we are posting today is entitled ‘How to Avoid the Long-Term Care Trap.’ . . .  Steve delivered this talk on March 10, 2001 to a consumer audience at ‘Money Watch Live 2001’ in New Orleans.  This annual financial planning mega-conference attracts 6,000 to 7,000 people and is well known as the premier event of its kind in the U.S.”

LTC Bullet #300:  “LTC Loses a Scrapper,” September 28, 2001:  “My best friend died yesterday.  Dr. George Sherman was long-term care's best friend too.  Most subscribers to these ‘LTC Bullets’ have been touched by George in one way or another.  Maybe you received ‘LTC News and Comment,’ the outstanding newsletter he edited for over ten years.  Perhaps you got his frequent online ‘E-Alerts’ with bite-sized nuggets of data and analysis about the field of long-term care.  If you've attended some of the same conferences with George, you know the piquant sense of anticipation when he'd rise to the microphone to offer an unusual, often penetrating, sometimes off-the-wall question or comment.  If you're lucky, you knew him personally, a unique and gifted man who fought many years for sensible long-term care policy.”

Update:  after we published the foregoing Bullet, we received an outpouring of feedback praising George Sherman’s work and life.  We compiled and edited the scores of messages and published them in a tribute to him (available here).