Friday, April 14, 2006

Seniors lack computer access to Medicare Part D information

A few clicks of the mouse could answer an urgent question for millions of older Americans: How will they pay for their prescription drugs?

But many will never get to www.medicare.gov because they don't use or can't get to the Internet, where the government has concentrated its information efforts. And with the enrollment deadline for Medicare's new prescription drug benefit looming on May 15, a lack of computer skills and access could cause older Americans to miss their opportunity to join.

"The vast majority of seniors we work with don't own computers," said Connie Bagley, executive director of the Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging, which serves 11 counties. "We have people calling and saying, 'Will you please enroll us, because we can't access it ourselves.' "

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. seniors say they don't understand Medicare's new Part D drug plan. Bagley said the traffic on her agency's telephone help lines has quadrupled in recent months, from 7,000 calls a month to 7,000 calls a week.

Read more in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune.

April 14, 2006 in Medicare | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Japan's aging criminals....

At 70, Yasumasa Matsuzaki did not look especially dangerous. He was just a nuisance to the workers at a convenience store because of his habit of reading magazines without ever buying anything.

So after one marathon three-hour session, the manager of the shop in Bando, Ibaraki Prefecture, snapped and threw him out.

Five minutes later, Mr Matsuzaki returned with a chainsaw and threatened the staff before returning to the magazine rack.

"He was absorbed in reading even after we called the police," said the manager after Mr Matsuzaki had been charged with forcible disruption of business. "He was very scary."

The incident last week is part of a wave of so-called grey crime in Japan. The percentage of over-65s in prison has trebled in the past decade and exceeds 10 per cent of the total prison population - four times the UK figure. Japan has the highest rate of incarceration for pensioners in the industrialised world.

                                        

Read more in the Independent (UK).

April 13, 2006 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Canadian Conference on Elder Law: Call for Papers

CCELS:  This year's Canadian Conference on Elder Law will take place Oct,. 13-15 in Vancouver.  The Canadian Centre for Elder Law Studies invites submissions for papers and workshops to be presented at its 2nd Annual Canadian Conference on Elder Law.  While this invitation embraces a broad variety of socio-legal topics, the theme of this year’s Conference is Legal and Societal Challenges of Aging: A View for Positive Change.  Selected papers will be published in the 2007 issue of the Canadian Journal of Elder Law. We also welcome abstracts, on a variety of topics affecting older adults, for workshops that do not require a paper presentation.  Please see the Call for Papers Information and Submissions Form or visit us at http://www.ccels.ca/conferences.htm for further details.

April 13, 2006 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

KFF rounds up editorials re: MA mandatory health insurance

Here's what newspapers are saying about MA new law requiring the purchase of health care insurance by all state residents:

  Editorials 
 

  • Boston Globe: Gov. Mitt Romney (R) "plans a ceremony ... today to celebrate his signing of the bill to expand health insurance to 95% of the people in Massachusetts," and he "should not spoil the event by vetoing or seeking to change any portion of this historic compromise," according to a Globe editorial. The editorial adds, "Unambiguous support by the governor today would solidify a consensus for full implementation of this overdue law" (Boston Globe, 4/12).

  • Boston Herald: The Massachusetts bill "is indeed a trailblazing concept," but "turning a concept into legislation (all 145 pages of it) and then into a functioning system that will do what it is intended to do is something else entirely," a Herald editorial states. The editorial concludes, "Not to rain too heavily on the governor's parade today, but the tough job of making health care coverage available for all is just beginning" (Boston Herald, 4/12).

  • Denver Post: "The Massachusetts plan builds on both its already high insurance coverage and some programs already in place in the state and so may be hard to export to other states such as Colorado," a Post editorial states, adding, "But at a time when health care has become one of America's most pressing domestic problems, it is a bold step that is sure to attract nationwide attention." The editorial concludes, "Health expenses are soaring across the United States, and, ultimately, we favor a national solution to the insurance dilemma. But we admire Romney and Massachusetts for seeing the value of action at the state level" (Denver Post, 4/12).

  • Eugene Register-Guard: "Oregon, with tens of thousands more uninsured residents than Massachusetts, doesn't lack incentives to explore a similar strategy," but "Oregonians would do well to let Massachusetts 'show them the money' before trying to replicate the Massachusetts plan here," according to a Register-Guard editorial. "The Massachusetts breakthrough is welcome news" but remains "an interim step," the editorial states, adding, "It serves as a reminder that the U.S. health care system remains in need of a top-to-bottom overhaul" (Eugene Register-Guard, 4/10).

  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "The decision by the Massachusetts Legislature and governor requiring everyone to buy medical insurance has received national attention and praise for its boldness," but a "plan every bit as daring and potentially even more sweeping has been taking shape in Wisconsin for more than a year," according to a Journal Sentinel editorial. The editorial adds, "While Wisconsin should not rule out adopting a version of the Massachusetts plan, we think the smartest approach is to tailor the solution to our state's particular needs, characteristics and culture" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/11).

  • Wall Street Journal: "Give Mr. Romney credit as a rare Republican willing at least to discuss health care," but the Massachusetts bill "is far from the market-based approach" he claimed in a Tuesday opinion piece, according to a Journal editorial. "The real health insurance problem today isn't lack of coverage per se; it's the inability of insurers to offer affordable policies in many states," the editorial states, adding, "By making a fetish of 'universal' coverage, Romney has bought into a bidding war that Democrats and advocates of socialized medicine are bound to win in the end" (Wall Street Journal, 4/12).

  • Winston-Salem Journal: "Suddenly, the nation's health care crisis doesn't look unsolvable," as Massachusetts "has created a template for assuring almost universal health care coverage," a Journal editorial states, adding, "North Carolina, other states and the federal government should be considering the plan as a means for insuring all Americans." The editorial states, "It would be nice if politicians in Washington, Raleigh and every other state capital could learn" from the Massachusetts bill, adding, "It would make us all that much healthier" (Winston-Salem Journal, 4/12).

Ed:  I'm with the Denver Post on this one....

April 12, 2006 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wisconsin seniors air Part D horror stories

From the Green Bay (WI) Press-Gazette:

Teresa Garbrecht says seniors worry about prescription drug costs and which medications Medicare will pay for.

    So she went to a session sponsored by the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups on Monday at the SC Grand Banquet and Convention Center looking for answers.

    She was one of about 25 to attend the forum of District 4 of the coalition, which is held twice a year. The focus of the meetings is to hear what seniors have on their minds in order to form a list of priorities.

    The new Medicare D drug plan is high on the list, said Garbrecht, a senior who lives near Crivitz.

    "There are problems," she said. "I belong to senior citizens groups and I hear people talk about how prices are different, and how certain drugs are not going to be covered, even for things like cancer."

    The new plan confounds many seniors, said Elizabeth Conrad, Medicare Integrity Project director for the coalition's Elder Law Center.

    In one case, a woman waited for up to four hours while on hold with her insurance company, only to be told she could not speak to a supervisor. A Medicare specialist also was unavailable.

    Another client who signed up for another company's stand-alone drug plan was issued a card in which her name was spelled wrong and her pharmacy refused to accept the inaccurate card.

    When she first contacted her insurance company, she was told they couldn't verify either the correct or incorrect spelling. She tried to contact customer service again, and was put on hold for 45 minutes. She tried an enrollment line, and was put on hold for 20 minutes.

    Eventually she was told it was because her name was too long (nine letters.) She also reports being pressured by a representative from the company to buy a more expensive plan.

    "We've heard lots of stories of rudeness, people being cut off or being fed wrong information," Conrad said. "It's getting better, but it's still happening."

    Part of the problem is that with so many people attempting to sign up by a January deadline, customer service lines were overwhelmed, she said.

    "There also were problems with identification theft," Conrad said. "People would call pretending to be from Medicare and people would give them personal information that would be used for fraud."

    Conrad said she worries that people don't know what they're buying.

    Rod Bohn, District 4 chairman, said the coalition hopes to influence legislators about issues like Medicare by banding smaller groups together.

    Advocates for seniors, the disabled and dependent care, as well as individuals are members of the grass-roots and non-partisan coalition, he said. District 4 has about 800 members, he said. Although 25 went to Monday's session, he said the meetings usually attract 50 to 60 guests. A few state legislators also usually attend, he said.

    Ideas are gathered at similar meetings of the coalition's nine districts. Organizers then will put together the group's platform to be used in discussions with state and federal legislators.

    The group supports universal health care, a patient's bill of rights and federal legislation to allow Medicare recipients to receive the same discounts on drug prices as other large purchasers, such as the federal government.

    Such measures will be difficult, said participant Pat Finder-Stone, unless things change on Capitol Hill.

    "The insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have tremendous lobbyists in Washington, D.C.," she said. "What we need is campaign finance laws. These laws will never get passed until lobbyists have less power."

April 11, 2006 in Medicaid | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Japanese companies convert dorms to nursing homes

There was a time when many companies had dormitories for young, single employees.Japan

This former company dormitory in Chuo Ward in the city of Chiba has been refurbished to serve as a nursing home and is scheduled to open in June.

During the bubble economy, corporations built luxurious apartments in prime locations in an effort to woo top-flight recruits.

But tougher conditions and staff cutbacks in the bubble's collapse have forced more and more firms to try to unload residential properties or convert them to other uses.

Another trend may help them out of their predicament. Japan's aging population has left nursing home operators scrambling for new facilities to meet growing demand. Now company dormitories are being remodeled to serve as private nursing homes.

The nursing homes are poplar with residents because of their convenient locations in central Tokyo.

Tokyo-based Century Life Co., an affiliate of condominium builder Haseko Corp., will open a six-story, 64-unit building in a quiet residential area near JR Nishi-Chiba Station, in the city of Chiba in June. It has begun taking applications from would-be residents this month.

The nursing home, called Century Port Nishi-Chiba, was built in 1991 and once served as a dormitory for single employees at a manufacturer.

Century Life installed new toilets and wider elevators to make the building "barrier free" at a cost of about 400 million yen.

Read more in Japan Times Online.

April 11, 2006 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Op-Ed: The taxpayers' stake in end-of-life care.

Suppose Grandmother has a living will. It says that if she falls into a vegetative state, like Terri Schiavo did, she wants to be kept alive on a feeding tube. How long? "Until the good Lord takes me away." One terrible day, she is thus stricken, and in goes the feeding tube. OK, who pays for her care?

Most of the fist-waving a year ago was over whether Michael Schiavo had the right to order the removal of his wife's life support. Terri's parents said that they wanted their daughter kept alive, and that if Michael did not wish to care for her, they would.

The parents' view clashed with reality. The reality was that the nurses at a Florida hospice were taking care of Terri, and Medicaid was paying for them. Clearly, the taxpayers also had a stake in these painful decisions, though no one talked about it much.

The time has come for that conversation, and it ought to be frank. Medicaid, the health-insurance plan for the poor, is supported by federal and state taxpayers. Medical technology can keep people with no hope of recovery floating between life and death for decades. The taxpayers have a right to set limits on how much of this they will finance.

Medicare covers the elderly and disabled, but does not pay for nursing-home care. Medicaid will. It has become something of a game for middle-class families to transfer an ailing relative's assets to, say, their children, in order to make the patient "poor" and therefore eligible for Medicaid. The Deficit Reduction Act — signed by the president but now held up by lawsuits — would make such transactions far harder to do, according to Lawrence Davidow, president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.naela.com).

Read the rest of this provactive op-ed piece by Froma Harrop in the Seattle Times.

April 11, 2006 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NYT Series on Retirement Issues

Topics include:

  • "Save Yourself," by David Leonhardt.
  • "Content to Watch Bananas Grow, More Retirees Relocate to Panama," by Bob Tedeschi.
  • "In Demand: Employment Agencies for 50-Plus," by Elizabeth Olson.
  • "Willing Workers, but Little Training to Be Found," by Joseph P. Fried.
  • "76 Million Reasons to Reconsider What Is Typical for Those Over 60," by Terry Schwadron.
  • "Health Clubs for Older Brains?" by Barbara Whitaker.
  • "Gear to Help You to Keep On Playing," by Stefani Jackenthal.
  • "AARP's Invite Presents a Wrinkle for Some," by Fran Hawthorne.
  • "Elderbloggers Stake Their Claim," by Lee Roberts.

Access the stories here. 

April 11, 2006 in Retirement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Rx Drug Prices for Seniors' drugs increase 80% faster than inflation in 2005

From Reuters:

U.S. prices for brand name prescription medications used most by older patients rose an average 6 percent in 2005, outpacing inflation for the sixth year in a row, according to a report released on Monday.

In fact, the price drug makers charge wholesalers and other purchases for branded drugs has risen 40 percent since 1999, compared with inflation, which grew 17 percent, AARP researchers found. In 2005, inflation was 3.4 percent.

The nation's largest consumer group for the elderly reviewed 193 medications mostly for arthritis pain, osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other ailments that affect older Americans.

"Brand name drugs have become substantially less affordable for consumers at the same time they are becoming ever more essential to good medical care," said John Rother, AARP's director of policy and strategy.

Rother said the higher costs can be expected to trickle down to consumers.

"These prices are reflected both in higher premiums for drug coverage as well as in higher out of pocket costs at the pharmacy counter," he said.

Read more here.

April 10, 2006 in Medicare | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Living Wills: Be careful how you draft them!

While   I was watching the NFL playoff games one weekend, my wife and I   got into a conversation about life and death, and the need   for  living wills.

During the course of the   conversation I told her that I  never wanted to exist in a   vegetative state, dependent on some machine and  taking fluids from a   bottle.

She got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all my   beer.



Ed:  Thanks to J.D. Hanson for sending this along.

April 10, 2006 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 7, 2006

D.Conn. allows ADEA cash balance conversion lawsuit to proceed

An employee of the former Fleet Bank can move ahead with a lawsuit accusing her company of discriminating against thousands of older workers when it switched to a new type of pension plan, a federal judge has ruled.

The preliminary ruling by U.S. District Judge Janet Hall in Bridgeport, Conn., focuses on cash balance plans. Many large companies embraced cash balance as an alternative to traditional pensions in the late 1990s, before controversy erupted over whether the plans unfairly penalized workers with many years of experience.

A cash balance plan combines some aspects of a traditional pension plan with some trappings of a 401(k). Employers make a yearly contribution to a hypothetical individual "account." Workers are allowed to take the money with them if they leave for another job. Hall's ruling, dated March 31 and entered Monday, will likely be closely scrutinized because the case against Fleet - now owned by Bank of America Corp. - largely echoes a widely publicized case against IBM Corp. In that case, IBM has agreed to settle for up to $1.4 billion should it lose on appeal. Ironically, Bank of America is credited with creating the nation's first cash balance plan, back in 1985.

Read the rest in the Stamford (CT) Advocate

Get the decision here.

April 7, 2006 in Discrimination | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Bill would prohibit Part D plans from changing formulary during plan year

57. H.R.5102 : To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to prohibit removal of covered part D drugs from a prescription drug plan formulary during the plan year once an individual has enrolled in the plan.
Sponsor: Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-31] (introduced 4/5/2006)      Cosponsors (53)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 4/5/2006 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

April 6, 2006 in Medicare | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Will the US become a banana republic? Or maybe it already is....

Three congressmen called a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday to announce support of a billFlag_2 that would require the federal government to report its finances in the same way that every business in America is supposed to do. Only five reporters showed up.

But the lawmakers, Republicans Mark Kirk of Illinois and Chris Chocola of Indiana and Democrat Jim Cooper of Tennessee, insisted that their simple little bill would serve as a wake-up call to Americans that the financial shape of the federal government is much worse than they suspect.

Obviously there wasn’t an initial groundswell of support or large press interest. Most reporters interested in the budget were trying to buttonhole other members of Congress about whether the 2007 budget resolution was going to pass.

"This is not the sexiest bill ever introduced, but it could have an impact on American lives more than any other bill this year," Cooper said at the press conference, held in the mostly empty House Budget Committee’s hearing room.

Their "Truth in Accounting Act" essentially would require the government to report the serious long-term unfunded liabilities of the government in such programs as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as well as the rest of the government.

These liabilities over the next 75 years total $46 trillion. Many budget experts say that this amount is so large that the government will be forced to raise taxes sharply, slash government deeply or borrow so much money that the U.S. will resemble a banana republic.

Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

April 6, 2006 in Social Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Elder Law Journal article chronicles fate of "atomic veterans"

BombVeterans suffering from cancers linked to exposure to radiation from atomic test explosions encounter a complex and error-ridden process that routinely denies them disability benefits, a University of Illinois scholar says. Soldiers, aviators and sailors who took part in U.S. nuclear tests between 1946 and 1962 or were exposed to radiation during the occupation of Japan after World War II must do battle with “a system that is not working,” Melinda F. Podgor writes in the Elder Law Journal published by the U. of I. College of Law. “The Department of Veterans Affairs’ disability compensation system prevents the vast majority of atomic veterans from obtaining benefits for their radiation-induced diseases. As a result, many atomic veterans are unable to receive necessary medical treatment or to provide for their basis needs,”

Podgor, an editor at the journal, writes "The VA’s system is so backlogged with claims that sick elderly veterans sometimes must wait for years for their cases to be decided. At the same time, the medical uncertainties about the relationship between radiation exposure and various cancers make it nearly impossible for veterans to establish disability claims under the current laws. “As of October 2004, roughly 18,275 atomic veterans applied for disability compensation, but only 1,875 of these claims were granted,” Podgor wrote. “Thus, nearly 90 percent of atomic veterans have been denied disability compensation.” The question of how to compensate atomic veterans has persisted for more than 20 years. The number of veterans has dwindled as the debate continues.

Read more in this U of I press release. 

 

April 6, 2006 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Not elder law: Missing Link Discovered!

Say hello to our most bizarre ancestor — a part crocodile, part seal-like fish that was able to take the first baby steps on to land roughly 380 million years ago.The discovery, 1,400 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, of fossilized skeletons of a creature dubbed Tiktaalik roseae is seen as filling a missing evolutionary link between fish and the first land animals.The findings were announced yesterday by a U.S.-Canada team that included a University of Toronto graduate researcher.Steve Cumbaa, a research paleontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa not connected with the work, hailed the discovery.

"These are the first little baby steps on getting animals `out of ooze and born to cruise,'" Cumbaa said, quoting a catchphrase by American cartoonist Ray Troll.Experts say that within a few million years Tiktaalik was followed by creatures completely adapted to terrestrial life, collectively called tetrapods. These then evolved into all the land animals on Earth today, including humans.

Read more about the find in the Toronto Star.

Fish_1

April 6, 2006 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Pharma spends multi-millions to lobby state legislatures

The pharmaceutical industry is spending tens of millions of dollars on lobbying, campaign donations and gifts to try to persuade state officials not to pass laws that would cut into drug profits, according to a report to be made public today by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity.

The industry spent more than $44 million lobbying state governments in 2003 andPill_2 2004, according to the center, which reviewed state disclosure reports filed by drug companies and trade associations.

The industry also contributed more than $8 million to state political candidates and groups and picked up the tab for meals, golf tournaments and baseball games for some public officials.

The reason for all the attention, according to the center, is state initiatives that would reduce the cost of drugs and cost the industry perhaps billions of dollars in profits. A spokesman for the industry's largest trade association said drug companies are educating state officials on the unintended consequences of ill-advised proposals.

"State legislatures have considered punitive measures that could have damaged physician-patient relationships and jeopardized the future development of potentially life-saving and life-enhancing medicines," said Ken Johnson, a senior vice president for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA.

Read more in the Detroit Free Press.

The full report is available here.

April 6, 2006 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Illinois has a new 24/7 elder abuse hotline.

Stepping up efforts to fight elder abuse, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a new hotline where seniors and their loved ones can report elder abuse or exploitation and quickly get help. Beginning today, the new Elder Abuse Hotline, (866) 800-1409, will be staffed around the clock by trained state caseworkers who will be prepared take reports of elder abuse, and forward them promptly to local service agencies or law enforcement.

Seniors who are victims of elder abuse, or anyone who suspects an elder is being abused, should call the Illinois Department on Aging’s 24-hour Elder Abuse Hotline at (866) 800-1409 or TTY at (800) 544-5304.  All calls and information related to elder abuse are strictly confidential.  For more information on how to detect and prevent elder abuse, please visit www.state.il.us/aging. "After a lifetime of working hard and raising a family, our senior citizens deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, there are people out there who exploit and even abuse senior citizens,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “That’s unacceptable, and the sooner we know about a case of abuse, the sooner we can put a stop to it.  That’s why we created this 24-hour hotline.” A trained elder abuse caseworker will respond within a specified time period depending on the severity of the case: within 24 hours for the most dangerous situations, within 72 hours for less serious ones and up to seven days for all others. When actual cases of abuse are found, provider agencies that work with the State will forward the reports on to local police.

 

*** Previously, elder abuse complaints were taken by the Illinois Department on Aging’s (IDoA) Senior HelpLine, which is staffed eight and a half hours a day, five days a week.  After-hours, complaints were taken by an automated voicemail system.  Under the Governor’s direction, IDoA representatives will staff the new Elder Abuse Hotline 24-hours a day, seven days per week.

“The fact that the hotline is staffed by a real person 24/7 will allow people to report abuse at any time of the day, whenever they feel most comfortable and safe,” said IDoA Director Charles D. Johnson.  “We know that most cases of abuse aren’t reported – only about one in ten cases.  We hope the convenience of this hotline will compel more people to come forward and make those reports.”

Read more in this press release out of the Governor's office.

April 5, 2006 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Massachusetts passes compulsory health insurance law

Residents of Massachusetts will be the first in the nation required to carry health insurance, just as motorists in many states are required to carry auto insurance.

After months of debate, state lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday that requires individuals to have coverage and tacks a $295 per worker annual assessment on employers who don't provide it, with the aim of reducing the state's 550,000 uninsured to near zero within three years.

The bill goes to Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. He's expected to sign it because he proposed such a measure last summer. “It's about 95% of what I wanted,” he said. “We'll be the only state in America where every citizen has health insurance.”

The state will be the only one requiring that all individuals who can afford to purchase insurance do so.

“That is where they are really pioneers,” says Paul Ginsburg, an economist with the Center for Studying Health System Change, a non-partisan research group in Washington. He says the only way to get universal coverage is to require individuals to carry insurance.

Free coverage will be provided to individuals at or below the federal poverty line, which is $9,600 a year, and the state will subsidize coverage for those up to three times the federal poverty level.

Read more in USA Today. 

Ed:  Massachusetts, unlike most states, does not have a high risk pool for hard-to-insure individuals.  And requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is nothing remotely similar to providing universal health care.  It will be interesting to see how the Massachusetts solution to the health care crisis fares in the next couple of years. 


 

April 5, 2006 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The President Knew DRA was unconstitutional

From the elderlaw listserv:

There now appears to be evidence that President Bush knew about the problems with the DRA before he signed it.  A link to a letter from House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi to President Bush which discusses this issue is below.

 
 

A link to an article from Elder Law Answers which discusses allegations that President Bush knew of the infirmities in the DRA before he signed it appears below.

 
 

Representative Henry Waxman and others have introduced a resolution of inquiry which would direct the President to submit documents to Congress in connection with the signing of the DRA.  A link is below.

 
 

You will find below a link to a letter from Representative Henry Waxman to Representative Nancy Pelosi which discusses the constitutionality of the DRA and includes quotes from a number of constitutional law scholars.

 
 

Thanks to 
Ira Salzman
Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin  LLP

and Laurie Hanson,
Long Reher & Hanson

April 4, 2006 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 3, 2006

Not elder law/Vet: Easter bunnies need long-term care

Purdue University veterinarians in West Lafayette, Ind., are reminding people considering buying an Easter bunny that rabbits represent a long obligation. "Rabbits make wonderful pets, but they are a 10-year commitment," said Lorraine Corriveau, a veterinarian at Purdue's Small Animal Hospital. "Like any other pet, they require attention." Corriveau says it's important to keep in mind that rabbits:
Rabbit_1
-- Require a large, solid-bottom cage with special bedding that needs to be changed weekly.

-- Should be allowed out of their cage at least 30-60 minutes daily for supervised exercise. She notes rabbits like to chew, so make sure there's nothing for them to chew on that can pose a safety hazard or cause gastrointestinal problems.

-- Require fresh timothy hay and green vegetables daily.

Read more in the Science Daily on line.

April 3, 2006 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)