The Coming Crises in Long Term Health Care
Founder Center for Long-Term Care Reform
Scribe: Jenny Andrews Editor: Jim Kindsvater
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Steve Moses alerted us to the coming crises in long term health care. President John introduced Kim Dreiblatt as our new Club Administrator. Jeff Cashman introduced the entire Rotary Foundation Committee and announced that we have achieved Every Rotarian Every Year status! Jim Kindsvater was honored as the Rotarian of the Month. Chris Monger urged everyone to participate in the Mini-Retreat this coming Friday.
Husky Bob Holert introduced guest speaker Steve Moses, the founder of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. Steve’s passion is to achieve top quality long-term care by encouraging private financing as an alternative to government programs.
Steve readily admitted that long-term care isn’t a particularly exhilarating topic. He defined the scope of care to include medical or custodial care when people cannot care for themselves, due to frailty, old age, injury, surgery, etc.
Long-term care is expensive. A nursing home can cost $75,000 a year, and assisted living is about half of that. The odds are that 70% of us will need long-term care at some point, and at least 20% will need five years or more long-term care.
Steve advocates using private insurance to help close the gap with the long-term risk, but that it is only one of the solutions to the problem. The issue is an aging population due to the baby-boomer bubble, with Medicare and Medicaid funding at crisis levels.
He pointed out numerous ironies in how people need to shift wealth to become eligible for many government benefits. In other words, if you aren’t poor, you need to become poor. He pointed out the many different ways how that model is dysfunctional, and it must be supplemented with private insurance.
Another problem is that insurance premiums are rapidly climbing, largely due to the costs of care, but more importantly due to the dropping Fed interest rates: the insurance companies charged past premiums based on the expected financial performance of their large cash reserves. With low Fed interest rates, the insurance companies cannot meet the expected payouts without substantial rate increases.
The government side of the equation is also bleak. In Social Security, there is nothing in the “trust fund.” This year, 42% of the federal budget is deficit – that means that 42 cents of every dollar spent by the government is borrowed money. The unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Medicaid dwarf the existing federal debt.
Steve’s bottom line is that we need to take the long-term care reform issue more seriously than ever before. His conclusion is that it’s dangerous to manage long-term care by looking in the rear view mirror. Instead, if you look through the windshield, you
can see that you’re heading for a brick wall at 100 mph. In closing, he asserted that, “The best way to help the poor is to not become one of them.”
More information on Steve Moses and his organization are available at www.centerltc.com
New Club Administrator
President John introduced Kim Dreiblatt as our new Club Administrator, replacing the Spider Monkey. Kim is a graduate of WWU (now WU), and has had a career in the actuarial field. She is married, and has two boys who are both in their teens. Her husband is employed at the UW in the IT field. Kim is involved with many community service organizations, including heavy involvement with the Boy Scouts.
Rotary Foundation Committee
Jeff Cashman introduced the entire Rotary Foundation Committee, and then announced that we did it!! We achieved “every Rotarian every year” for the first time in club history. Kim Shrader recognized all of the committee members, but gave special recognition to
Norm Johnson for his performance as bookkeeper,
Dick Brownfor the recognition element of the committee,
and Jeanne Thorsen for running the fund-raising. Our goal now is to replicate this success and make it an annual occurrence.
Rotarian of the Month
President John recognized Jim Kindsvater as the Rotarian of the Month. Recently, our long-time editor, Robin Stark, stepped down and left us without an editor. Jim stepped up to the plate and took over. Without Jim’s help, the Reveille production would have taken a severe hit.
Morris Kremen reminded us that the race is April 29th. So far, we are ahead of last year’s pace in sign-ups, but we can’t let up if we are going to achieve our goal. Morris called up Fred Barkman to inform the club of his techniques in getting a team set up on the website to leverage more sign-ups.
Our bottom line: time is getting short. We need more participants, contributions, and sponsors.
Sarget at Arms
Also, there is a subsidy for those attending the “maxi” retreat..
Rotary First Harvest
Hojo announced that the BBRC has had 203 RFH participants so far this year. We need a total of 275, with only three more sessions to go. Let’s win the Golden Donut again!
John gave special recognition to Matt DeJulio, who donated storage space and boxes for the 17 pallets of books the club donated.
Badge Committee Recruiting
The club is starting a badge committee of 6-7 people who will come in early and make badges each meeting. With normal rotation, each person would only need to help out every month or two.
“Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.”
— George Bernard Shaw