Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Betsy Abramson has just completed a replication manual for those interested in starting an elder law clinic. Betsy writes:
Thanks to a generous grant from the Helen Bader Foundation, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I recently completed an Elder Law Clinic Replication Manual, explaining how the University of Wisconsin developed and operated its medical site-based Elder Law Clinic from 2003-2005. Helpful reviewers included fabulous elder law profs Jim Pietsch (Hawai'i), Becky Morgan (Stetson), Katherine Pearson (Dickinson at Penn) and Kate Mewhinney (Wake Forest), all of whom have or are continuing to operate great elder law clinics. This manual describes the Wisconsin experience and has extensive Appendices of materials we used to recruit students, train students, do client outreach, case forms, templated documents and evaluations. We recognize that how any particular Elder Law Clinic is run is dependent on many factors - including the culture of the law school, funding, other providers in the community (elder and non-elder, legal and non-legal), interest/expertise of the faculty. Still, I hope that as one model, of our law school's experience, parts of this might be helpful to you. It's all available on a url hosted by the University of Wisconsin Law School. The manual is online at http://law.wisc.edu/webshare/02GY/_1213154448_001.pdf
Direct questions to Betsy at email@example.com
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Since that terrible morning 65 years ago, the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor have been called heroes, V.I.P.’s of the greatest generation, and the first American witnesses to the last world war. But more and more, the members of this exclusive group are being called something else: endangered.
With age and aching joints slowing even the most hardy of old sailors, marines and airmen, the major national survivors group has decided this year’s anniversary gathering will be its last in Hawaii.
“We’re getting about as extinct as the dodo bird,” said Mal Middlesworth, the president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, which traditionally meets here every five years. “The way it’s going, our next national convention here we could hold in a phone booth.”
Mr. Middlesworth, 83, who watched the attack from the deck of the heavy cruiser San Francisco, said much of his membership of 4,600 survivors had simply become too old to travel great distances. “There’s a lot of people in wheelchairs and in walkers,” he said. “And we don’t have any replacement troops.”
A New Jersey congressman whose father spent six years caring for his ailing wife wanted other families in similar situations to have someplace to turn when a primary caregiver needs a break. Republican Mike Ferguson got that wish Wednesday when the House approved his "Lifespan Respite Care Act," which provides $289 million over five years for states to train volunteers and provide other services to an estimated 50 million families caring at home for adults and children with special needs.
Ferguson's office said the Senate is poised to vote on the issue before the lame duck session is over. The measure passed in the House by a voice vote.
Ferguson said his siblings and other relatives pitched in to care for his mother when his father, Thomas, needed a break. Roberta Ferguson died in 2003 after battling multiple myeloma.
"I thank my dad for providing my family and many others with a remarkable example of the loving care that a family caregiver can provide," Ferguson said on the House floor. "Today's action by this House represents an important victory nationwide to family caregivers. Your selfless sacrifice is appreciated and help is on the way."
The bill would provide one-stop shopping of sorts for family caregivers to find respite care. The money allocated by the bill would be doled out by Health and Human Services to states to administer in the forms of grants.
Read more at AP/Yahoo. Posting submitted by Prof. Katherine Pearson.
The Request for Proposals for 2007-2008 funding under the Partnerships in Law and Aging Program is now available on the ABA Commission on Law and Aging website.
The ABA Commission on Law and Aging and the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging co-sponsor the Partnerships in Law and Aging Program with ongoing support from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Endowment of the ABA Fund for Justice and Education. The program is designed to encourage new, collaborative, community-based projects to enhance the legal awareness of older persons and to improve their access to the legal system.
This year, the program offers two separate funding opportunities:
Original Award for Community Identified Need: The program will award eight 12-month grants of $7,500 to projects that meet program objectives and address an issue identified by applicant.
Special Initiative: The program will award two 18-month grants of $15,000 to projects that meet overall program objectives and that develop and implement an Interdisciplinary Guardianship Committee.
Applicants may apply under one or both categories, but must submit separate applications, including separate cover sheets and letters of commitment.
Announcements and applications available on the Commission website:
Applications must be postmarked or shipped by March 1, 2007, and projects will be funded beginning July 1, 2007. Projects funded under the Original Awards category will be funded for 12 months, and those funded under the Special Initiative category (Interdisciplinary Guardianship Committees) will be funded for 18 months.
Friday, December 8, 2006
The first five chapters of the 2006 /Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys/, edited by Jeffrey S. Gutman, Professor of Clinical Law and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at George Washington University School of Law and published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, are now available in HTML format. This is the updated version of the Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys published in 2004. This version of the Manual includes hyperlinks to federal statutes, Supreme Court case citations, and case pleadings available through the Shriver Center's Poverty Law Library. Chapters 6-9, as well as a documentary supplement that includes annotated model pleadings, are still being edited and will be posted online soon.
To view the HTML version of the Federal Practice Manual, visit http://www.ejustice.org/federal-practice-manual/
Ed: This post via the legal hotlines listserv managed by Shoshanna Ehrlich.
KaiserEDU.org introduces a new resource - the Health Policy Video Library, a unique collection of links to documentaries, news segments, and other videos on a wide range of health policy issues produced by organizations such as PBS, Discovery Channel, and the Kaiser Family Foundation as well as independent filmmakers. Whether you’re teaching a course, giving a presentation, or organizing an event, check the library for relevant videos.
The Health Policy Video Library currently contains more than 200 videos and will be continuously updated. Search for videos in the database by topic or keywords. Results can be sorted by video length or production year, and information on how to obtain the video is provided by clicking on the video title.
Thursday, December 7, 2006
The Medicare Part D drug benefit has not—at least to date—significantly affected most states’ budgets, according to a new survey of Medicaid officials in 47 states. Fourteen states are paying about the same for drug coverage for “dual eligibles” under Part D as they were when those beneficiaries received that coverage through Medicaid (see chart, below). Twelve states report paying more, and eight states say they’re paying less.
On Jan. 1, 2006, Medicare began covering prescription drugs for the approximately 6.2 million beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. In exchange for covering the drug costs of these beneficiaries, states must make payments to Medicare (popularly known as the “clawback”).
Meanwhile, most states report that they don’t expect the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) to significantly reduce their spending on pharmacy benefits. The DRA gave states greater flexibility in how they manage their Medicaid programs, including the ability to increase cost-sharing for prescription drugs. Twenty-three states said they are unlikely to increase cost-sharing.
State Perspectives on Emerging Medicaid Pharmacy Policies and Practices was conducted by the National Association of State Medicaid Directors in collaboration with Avalere Health. Go to: http://www.aphsa.org/Home/Doc/AH_NASMD_Final.pdf
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
It sold the first wax phonograph cylinders to curious shoppers in 1894. Now rock stars and politicians are fighting to save the world’s oldest record shop from closure. The owners of Spillers Records, recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest such emporium on Earth, say that it will close unless a buyer is found.
Spillers, in the Hayes Market, is standing in the way of a £700 million property development that will bring a new department store complex to the Welsh capital.
From the Washington Post:
Forget the Baker-Hamilton commission. I have high hopes for the Clinton-McCain Commission to Fix Social Security. Haven't heard of it? Actually, neither have Hillary Clinton and John McCain. It's my long-shot scheme for tackling the problem.
First, if not now, when? Third-rail political issues such as Social Security benefit from -- maybe even require -- divided government, to share the blame. They can't be touched in an election year. They're difficult to do during a president's first term, if he -- or she -- wants a second. So 2007 offers the last, best hope for some time.
Second, if not Social Security, then what? The political system right now is too broken, and relations between President Bush and congressional Democrats too frayed, to deal with the truly daunting entitlement issues, Medicare and Medicaid. Social Security is entitlement reform on training wheels.
Read more of this op-ed piece at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/05/AR2006120501131.html
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Premier Gordon Campbell promised Friday to eliminate mandatory retirement to cope with a "silver tsunami" -- one quarter of the population -- who will be over 65 within 25 years.
Campbell was responding to a report of the Premier's Council on Aging and Seniors' Issues, which described the lack of protection from age discrimination for British Columbians 65 and over as fundamentally unfair.
By 2031, there will be 1.3 million British Columbians over 65 -- double the number today.
"We want to see a future where older people are seen as an integral part of our social and economic life," said Patricia Baird, chairwoman of the 18-member premier's council, which has met with hundreds of seniors, community organizations, academics, health professionals and business leaders over the past 13 months.
"Older people should be welcomed to use their talent and experience, but also assisted when poor health or low income prevent a good quality of life."
B.C. will be one of the last provinces to eliminate mandatory retirement. Legislation in Ontario takes effect this month. Campbell said he expects to introduce legislation in the spring. B.C.'s Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination because of a person's age but defines age as being "an age of 19 years or more and less than 65 years."
Chevy Chase, Md.-based CapitalSource has completed sale leaseback transactions for 77 long-term care facilities in 22 states, for $462 million. The facilities are subject to triple-net leases with a nearly 9.5-year weighted average term and are managed by 29 different operators.
The widespread purchase should strengthen the company’s standing in the healthcare and specialty financing market, one of three main focused lending businesses. The company already focuses a significant portion of its healthcare business on nursing and senior living facilities.
CapitalSource is a specialized commercial finance company that operates as a REIT. It offers a variety of financing, including first mortgage, asset-based, and mezzanine financing. In addition to the healthcare market, the company also has focused lending businesses in the structured and corporate finance markets, and a total of $11 billion in outstanding loan commitments. The company is traded on the NYSE, and was trading slightly up at $28 early this afternoon.
Source: Commercial Property Online, http://www.cpnonline.com/cpn/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003468016
Friday, December 1, 2006
Tony Lapham, a mentor of mine at Shea & Gardner back in the day, died on Nov. 11. I worked for Tony as a young associate and learned much from him.
Anthony Abbot Lapham, 70, a former general counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency and a dedicated environmentalist, died of a heart attack Nov. 11 while trout fishing with his son on the Cane River near Asheville, N.C.
Mr. Lapham was the third general counsel in the agency's history and the first brought in from outside.
That period came in the mid-1970s in the wake of congressional hearings chaired by U.S. Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho). The Church committee investigated the alleged involvement of the nation's intelligence agencies in assassination attempts against foreign leaders, spying on U.S. citizens and other illegal activities.
Appointed general counsel in 1976 during the tenure of Director George H.W. Bush, Mr. Lapham served until 1979 under Bush's successor, Adm. Stansfield Turner.
According to John Rizzo, the CIA's acting general counsel, Mr. Lapham was the first agency general counsel to actually sit in on meetings of CIA agents. "He insisted that there be an operational presence," Rizzo said. "To establish that beachhead was critical. He was responsible for that.
As disbelief in the effectiveness of the national pension system mounts, the National Assembly's Health and Welfare Committee passed a set of bills Thursday to overhaul the nation's controversial pension system.
According to the reform bill, national pension fees will be increased and the pension grant rate will be lowered, assuming that the ``basic old-age pension system'' is to be introduced.
The basic old-age pension is aimed at benefiting upwards of 60 percent of the population aged 65 and older, by giving out 70,000 won to 100,000 won per month to those living below the poverty line and 50,000 to others.
The reform bills call for reducing post-retirement payments to 50 percent of monthly salary from the current 60 percent by 2008 and raising subscriber contributions from 9 percent of earnings to 12.9 percent, by 2018.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has estimated that additional tax revenues of about 19.1 trillion won will be needed by 2030 to carry out the basic old-age pension system. But some say the reform will place too much of a burden on the public.
``The need to reform the national pension system was discussed because the excessively high national pension grant rate was likely to cause national pension funds to run out, which could burden our descendants with larger taxes,'' said an official from the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, one of the nation's two flagship labor unions.
``In this sense, the recently invented basic old-age pension system is unlikely to improve the overall system. If the basic old-age pension system is carried out without further deliberation, the national pension system would soon face trouble again,'' the official said.
The pension reforms have been stalled for three years because of disagreement among political parties.
A just-released report offers an unprecedented snapshot of the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) boomers in the United States as they deal with current caregiving responsibilities and make plans for their own needs in later life. "Out and Aging: The Metlife Study of Lesbian and Gay Baby Boomers" was produced by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and ASA's Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network (LGAIN). The report draws on data from a poll conducted by Zogby International using a random sample of LGBT Americans ages 40-61 -- the first such national survey of LGBT boomers anywhere in the world.
"'Out and Aging' documents unique family structures and gender-role differences among people in midlife in the LGBT community," said Kimberly D. Acquaviva, cochair of the LGAIN Leadershp Council and a member of the research advisory panel that developed the survey questionnaire and reviewed the final report. "The findings point to a need for specialized support networks, housing solutions, financial planning and end-of-life decision-making as LGBT boomers move toward retirement. The report is a wake-up call not only for LGBT people themselves, but also for professionals in aging who wish to provide culturally competent care to this underserved population." The findings in "Out and Aging" cast a new light on the needs and expectations of LGBT boomers in the United States. Following is a sample: Almost 40 percent of the respondents believe that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender has helped them prepare for aging, with 36 percent saying the experience has taught them greater self-reliance. One in four say they provided care for an adult friend or family member in the previous six months -- a higher proportion than the one in five who have reported providing such care in studies of the general population. Seventy-five percent report important connections with "families of choice" -- close friends who are "like a second or extended family." One in five say they are unsure of who will take care of them when the need arises, though at least 75 percent expect to be caregivers for someone else. Fifty-one percent have yet to complete a will, living will or similar legal directives, despite the fact that same-sex couples and their families currently lack legal recognition in most of the United States. Twenty-seven percent report great concern about discrimination as they age, and less than half expressed strong confidence that they will be treated with "dignity and respect" by healthcare professionals.
The full text of "Out and Aging" is available free of charge as a 20-page PDF on the LGAIN home page.