BRUCE JUGAN on HEALTH CARE at WVRC on April 29th
GEORGE COX led the Pledge. MARK ROGO provided a total of four thoughts for the Invocation. I won’t try to provide this in Hebrew, but here’s the English:
“Blessed are You, Ha Shem, our God, King of the Universe, by whose word everything comes to be. Blessed are You, Ha Shem, our God, King of the Universe, who creates variety of sustenance. (and from Mi Shelberach), “May the One who blessed our ancestors, Sarah and Abraham, Rebecca and Isaac, Leah, Rachel and Jacob bless (insert name here) along with all of the ill among us. Grant insight to those who bring healing, courage and faith to those who are sick, love and strength to us and to all who love them. God, let your spirit rest upon all who are ill and comfort them. May they and we soon know a time of complete healing, a healing of the body and a healing of the spirit and let us say, Amen. (concluding prayer) May the one who creates harmony above make peace for us and for all Israel, and for all who dwell on earth. And say, Amen.” Wow, a great combo, MARK Thanks. And once again you have to be impressed that LENNY continues to come forward, to await his current placement. Seems he had sought protection by disguising himself as being in the Russian Navy, and Prexy ED produced the appropriate hat, of course. This led to every verse of I Been Working on the Railroad, which we done good.
We had three Visiting Rotarians. Our Speaker, Bruce Jugan, hails from the Montebello Club. Lyle Mack is from Shafter, CA, where he recently retired as School Supt. Renato, from Beverly Hills, was with us once again. About to become a Special Guest, Jack Paul, insisted on paying. He is a most impressive candidate Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA, LL.B from Stanford, LL.M from Harvard, an attorney in the field of Government contracts Wow! PEGGY was accompanied by her helper, and STEVE PETTISE’S Special Guest was a little fella,, Len Rohde, who played offensive tackle for the 49ers for a mere 15 years! He was in the Pro Bowl, too. SUNNY was of course with LENNY, and PP HOMER NEWMAN again brought Special Guest Terry de Souza, who does Real Estate on the Westside. HOMER also introduced Masaki Nakoda, our Ambassadorial Scholar from Japan. Those seated at the Head Table included PP CHRIS BRADFORD, MADISON GORITSAN and MARK KRAUSE. PP CHRIS reported that we have selected our candidate for Ambassadorial Scholar, who was a runner-up a year ago. Also at the Head Table, of course, were our speaker, Bruce Jugan and Program Chair STEVE PETTISE.
Prexy ED reported that Commander John Wade, who spoke to us recently, has been promoted to Captain three years ahead of his class! As you probably know a Navy Captain is the same rank as an Air Force or Army Colonel, and Wade has now applied to be a White House Fellow. It seems safe to predict that his future is almost unlimited. Let’s stay tuned, please.
On another subject, District 5280 (ours, that is) is asking for our help in providing silent auction items for the coming District Conference from 13 to 16 May they are particularly interested in donations that would appeal to men. ED has the required forms, of course.
A reminder of the Auxiliary event to visit Union Station followed by a lovely Chinese luncheon downtown on May 12th, all provided by our own chartered bus. MARGIE DOWNIE will take your $20 and the deadline is May 3rd.
Our District has purchased radio time for Radio Awareness Week, for public relations announcements about Rotary, during this next week. The two times are 6 to 10am on #870AM and 3 to 7 pm on #790AM.
An important District Assembly will take place the week after our District Conference. The date for the Assembly is Saturday the 22nd of May, in Torrance, ending with a luncheon. This is particularly important for new members and new Board Members, and your attendance is requested, please.
JOHN HEIDT reminded us that there will be a 2nd Westwood Clean Up Day this Saturday, and they need volunteer supervisors. Also, another Subway Route Meeting will be held on Monday the 18th of May, 7pm at Westwood Methodist Church.
PP STEVE SCHERER invited CHRISTOPJHER HUGHES to come forward to be inducted. STEVE emphasized the importance of Service Above Self in all members, and that we chose CHRISTOPHER because we felt this was an area in which he would be most productive. He was of course welcomed with a standing ovation.
Some of you know about the Member Biographies which we compiled a few years ago. Those featured. who are still with us, include PDG ANDY ANDERSON, RALPH BEASOM, PP JIM COLLINS, DONN CONNER, PDG BILL GOODWYN, ERIC LOBERG, PP BOB LUSK, CLARK MCQUAY, PP HOMER NEWMAN, DON PARK, PP YOSH SETOGUCHI, PP JOHN SINGLETON, MYRON TAYLOR, PP BOB WESSLING, RAY ZICKFELD, and YOE.
I would like to begin to add more recent members. Needless to say, the usual bribes and inducements will be gratefully accepted but really, as I’m sure you can all appreciate, love offerings of over $500 should be in cash, please! Stay tuned!
STEVE PETTISE introduced our Speaker, Bruce Jugan. He graduated from Cal Berkeley, and has an MA from NYU. His firm is in the Health Care Underwriting field, and he has belonged to Montebello Rotary since 1995. Bruce and his two young sons are active participants in the Y Indian Guide Program at our own Westside YMCA.
Bruce began by asking how many of us have paid attention to the Health Care debate, and many hands were raised. He would like to give us an overview of what has been passed, and then discuss possible amendments which could be offered. Former Senator Tom Daschle gave a seminar before he became ineligible for formal office in the upcoming program. He said it represented a 100-yard field, with the ball about at the 30-yard line so there is much yet to be done. As a reminder, the background was the collapse of our economy in 2009, with unemployment nationally at 10% and in California, 12%, and Michigan at 14%. Stats show that the Health Care Trust Fund is projected to run out of money by 2018. That, plus the Baby Boomers suddenly beginning to draw benefits creates a frightening dilemma.
Thus in 2009 there were Town Hall meeting all over the country, during which people voiced their concerns. The House passed their version in November 2009, and on Christmas Eve, the Senate passed their version both of these without any Republican support. Then in January 2010, Scott Brown was elected Senator in Massachusets, eliminating the veto-proof majority the Democrats formerly held. This demonstrated the strong feeling against the bill, since Massachesets has been a Democratic state since the 1960’s. In March of this year, President Obama signed the Senate, and then House-approved legislation, which brings us up to date.
This is a 2000-plus page bill, and it takes some serious study to understand. Expansion of coverage is the biggest component. 32 million Americans will now have health coverage. Question does that include undocumented residents? No, it does not. MediCaid, which is called MediCal in California, will be expanded by 2014 to include families earning less than $29,000. Starting then, a further subsidy will be provided to families earning up to $80,000. This is designed to draw 8 to 9% of your income to cover medical costs. The gap in coverage for Medicare D which now exists will be phased out, starting in 2014. These new costs will be passed on to the consumer. There will be additional taxes for families earning over $250,000.
One major question about the large increase in total participants is, will they be healthy or unhealthy new participants? The trust is, today, nobody knows. Hospitals now absorb the costs of emergency care, and insurance companies will tell you that their biggest cost is the difference between what Medicare allows and what treatment actually costs. Most insurance reforms really take effect in 2014. In that year, the states will have set up Exchanges, where Gold, Silver, and Bronze programs will be offered, the difference being what services are covered. If you don’t elect to be covered, you will have to pay a penalty, starting at $95 a year and going up from there. Insurance companies believe that many people will not sign up until they need care, and then drop it a month or two after their need has been met. They call this adverse selection.
There are employer responsibilities. With 50 or more employees, you must provide insurance for all employees. Currently, if you cover your employees, and you pay, say, $100 a month for this coverage, you can write it off. The amount you can write off in the future will vary. I don’t recall how this starts, but if you have 10 employees, the rules are different, and with 25 employees, they change again. Question what does the Government expect to do with the (unknown) number of undocumented residents who will not be covered? There is no present answer to that question. There will be high-risk pools California already has one. A new feature is that children under the age of 19, until they are 26, will be able to get guaranteed coverage. There will be no lifetime limits on coverage. An independent Medical Review Board will be established.
Bruce Jugan, we thank you for an excellent overview of where we are now and where we may be by 2014.
There was the usual raffle of a bottle of wine, in this case a merlot from the Central Coast. It seems that this is the wine that investment bankers drink after shorting the synthetic CMO’s they have packaged and sold to hapless clients. It was won by PP RON LYSTER.
Thought for the Day:
All great things are simple and many can be explained in a single word. Honor, duty, justice, freedom, mercy, hope.