LTC Bullet:  Politics and Legislation:  Thousand Bullets Retrospective

Friday, May 16, 2014

Seattle—

LTC Comment:  Your Center for Long-Term Care Reform continues to celebrate its publication of over 1,000 LTC Bullets with this overview of 15 years of “Politics and Legislation” Bullets.  Please enjoy this retrospective after the ***news.***

*** AALTCI Conference:  It’s almost time for another excellent American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance conference.  Their Long-Term Care Solutions Sales Summit will be held May 18-20 at the Westin Hotel in Kansas City, MO.  Over the past decade+ we’ve attended many of these conferences and have always found them to be of especially high value in terms of professional development through educational content and networking opportunities.  I hope to see you there, but if you can’t be there in person, they have you covered:  Be there virtually by tuning into a live webcast stream of selected sessions for free!  As usual, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is an outstanding resource for LTCi professionals.  Click here for further information and to register for free access. *** 

*** BY THE WAY:  If you are physically attending the forthcoming AALTCI conference and smell delicious, fresh popcorn, follow your nose until you find the LTC Financial Partners booth.  According to their press release, LTCFP is “using popcorn and a 'top-10' list to recruit long-term care insurance pros.”  What a clever idea.  Enjoy some popcorn and learn about what LTC Financial Partners has to offer at their booth in Kansas City and in their press release here. *** 

*** CLTCR Premium Membership:  Center for Long-Term Care Reform premium members receive our full suite of individual membership benefits including:  our LTC Bullets and E-Alerts; access to our Members-Only Zone website and Almanac of Long-Term Care; subscription to our Clipping Service; and email/phone access to Steve Moses for 24-hour turnaround queries.  Our Premium Membership is designed to give you a competitive advantage in your long-term care profession. Your increased knowledge of the critical issues and challenges we face in the field of long-term care service delivery and financing equals improved professional success for you and better LTC services for your clients and for those who have no choice but to rely on scarce public resources.  Premium Membership is $250 per year, paid up front or monthly by automatically recurring credit card payments.  Contact Damon at 206-283-7036 / damon@centerltc.com to start your Premium Membership immediately or go directly to our secure online subscription page and sign up for as little as $21 per month. ***

 

LTC BULLET: Politics and Legislation:  THOUSAND BULLETS RETROSPECTIVE

LTC Comment:  Once a week, usually on Fridays, we publish our latest LTC Bullet.  The Bullets are often policy pieces, sort of like op-eds.  You can always find the latest Bullets here and archives of the rest of the 1,000+ Bullets (so far), by date here and by topic here.  These 1,000+ articles are a valuable historical resource.  Please make use of them.  Search for key terms using Control-F on your keyboard.

This series is a retrospective of the most interesting and dramatic LTC Bullets that we’ve published since the Center’s founding in 1998.  We’ll highlight one Bullet per year in each of seven major topics:  “The LTC Problem and Solutions”; “Reality Check:  The Facts on LTCI”; “Medicaid Planning”; “LTC Services”; “Politics and Legislation”; “Demographics and Other Data”; and “CLTCR News.” 

Today’s Bullet is our “Thousand Bullets Retrospective” Number 5 covering “Politics and Legislation.”  These “Politics and Legislation” Bullets cover commentary on news from Congress, the Administration, HCFA, and the states.  Read our summary and check out the original at the link provided.  Enjoy this walk down memory lane.

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May 21, 1998:  CNN Update on "Send Granny's Lawyer to Jail Law".  “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. As usual, the Medicaid planning bar has mobilized to defeat the effort. The New York State Bar Association is suing Attorney General Janet Reno in Federal court to have the law declared unconstitutional. So far, the court has issued a preliminary injunction pending a final judgment.  In addition, Attorney General Reno sent a letter to Speaker Gingrich and Congress announcing the DOJ's decision neither to defend the constitutionality of the law nor bring any criminal prosecutions under it.  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 with a brief comment.”

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March 3, 1999:  U.S. President Debates Center President.  “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.”

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July 24, 2000:  Open Letter to HCFA Administrator.  “The Health Care Financing Administration is the U.S. government agency that administers Medicaid and Medicare. An important role of the Center for Long- Term Care Financing is to bring practices that undermine responsible long-term care financing policy to the attention of the media and the government agencies involved. What could be more irresponsible than HCFA's participation in a continuing education seminar for attorneys and accountants on how to artificially impoverish infirm seniors to get them on Medicaid without spending down? The following open letter to the HCFA Administrator in Washington, DC is self-explanatory.”

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October 2, 2001:  The Case for LTCI Tax Incentives.  “Congressional action on additional tax incentives for long-term care insurance (LTCI) appears unlikely in the near term. Nevertheless, the American Academy of Actuaries' recently released Issue Brief titled ‘Federal Tax Incentives for Long-Term Care Insurance: Actuarial Issues and Public Policy Implications’ argues why tax incentives for LTCI should remain a public policy priority for America even in these turbulent times. The publication is available online in .pdf format at www.actuary.org/pdf/health/ltc_tax_080101.pdf.” 

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December 10, 2002:  What About the Rate Stability of the U.S. Government?  “The strongest criticism levied today against private LTC insurance is that premiums on in-place business may have to increase someday if claims experience turns out to be worse than anticipated. This, critics say, could devastate long-time policy holders who cannot afford steep premium increases in their old age and who no longer qualify medically for new coverage. Well, that is a valid concern that insurers and regulators are taking very seriously. But what about the far more ambitious, and less achievable promises that the U.S. Government has made to seniors through Social Security and Medicare? David Wessel, in his November 21, 2002 Wall Street Journal column ‘Capital,’ titled ‘U.S. Promises Are in the Hole’ raised that question.  [Excerpts follow in this LTC Bullet.]”

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September 25, 2003:  Dire Warnings from the Feds “Have you read ‘Your Social Security Statement’ lately. If not, you'd best take a close look soon and beware the latest tidings from GAO as well.”

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February 4, 2004:  Presidential Hopefuls Give Lip Service to LTC.  “When terrorism has been defeated, America's new twin towers of vulnerability will be retirement and health security for aging boomers. Yet, the leading candidates for President, including the current incumbent, barely recognize the impending mega-trauma of long-term care.”

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December 19, 2005:  House Passes Historic LTC Reform; Center Helps Tip Balance; AARP Spurned  “At 6:00 AM Eastern, after pulling an historic all-nighter, the House passed long-term care reforms that exceeded our highest hopes.  Bottom line, we got everything the Senate proposed, plus everything the House proposed, and then some.  We're still on tenterhooks, however, waiting to see if the full Senate will go along.  Stay tuned to C-Span coverage of the budget bill for the suspenseful conclusion of this public policy cliffhanger.  

“Your Center for Long-Term Care Reform had a thing or two to do with this progress too.  We spent half time in Washington, DC this Summer briefing (primarily) Senate Finance Committee staff on the importance of these reforms.  Our ‘Rule of Law’ column titled ‘Welfare for the Well-To-Do’ ran over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal and was widely circulated on Capitol Hill Saturday and Sunday before the vote.  Read on for a copy of that op-ed.  As you know, we've repeatedly exposed AARP's irresponsible attacks on members of Congress who seek to save Medicaid for the poor by diverting the affluent to responsible long-term care planning.”  

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February 2, 2006:  LTC Victory:  “The Deficit Reduction Act of 2006 passed yesterday curbing Medicaid abuse and unleashing LTC Partnerships.  Celebrate?  Sure.  But don't take a victory lap until you consider what can go wrong.” 

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January 9, 2007:  The DRA Bullets:  “Two Medicaid planners lament the DRA we praised and defended in 21 LTC Bullets last year.  Their whining, our replies plus links to all the DRA Bullets [here].”

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May 15, 2008:  The LTC Score:  “How the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ‘scores’ proposed legislation helps or hinders passage often inversely to the proposals' merit. LTC tax deductibility is a case in point, [in this LTC Bullet].”

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July 21, 2009:  How Much More Wrong Can They Get It?!:  “Today, we bring to your attention two examples of propaganda masquerading as research. Both come from an outfit called ‘The SCAN Foundation.’”

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April 7, 2010:  CLASS Caveats:  “When McKnight's editor Jim Berklan asked me last Friday afternoon for a column on CLASS, I demurred. ‘Too busy,’ I said, ‘too tired.’ He would have none of it, so thanks to Jim we have the following article to share with you today.

“We thank McKnight's for publishing this piece and for permission to ‘reprint’ it here for our readers. Check it out online at McKnight's site here (with picture) and do forward the link to many others.”

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October 28, 2011:  Remedial CLASS:  “Wednesday's Congressional hearing on the brain dead CLASS program illustrates the inefficacy of seeking political solutions to the easily solvable LTC financing problem.” 

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August 10, 2012:  Challenge Medicaid’s MOE Mandate:  “ObamaCare threatens states’ federal Medicaid matching funds, arguably illegally since the SCOTUS decision.  Why it matters [in this LTC Bullet].”

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June 21, 2013:  What Should the LTC Commission Do?:  “How should the LTC Commission prioritize its work and recommendations?  Some thoughts [in this LTC Bullet].”

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