April 16, 2013 ROTARY WHEEL

From last week’s meeting,


Guests/New Member Info:

All are invited to bring guests to check out our West Des Moines Rotary Club.  Janet Nelson took advantage of this invitation and brought a co-worker. 


President Chris shared that we have a new Corporate Membership that was recently approved for 3 individuals from one company.  This is a great way to expand our membership to companies where one individual cannot commit the time to attend regularly but with other co-workers, the company can maintain excellent attendance.  


Bicycle Time:

Harold Hulleman has a bicycle give-away schedule for Hillside Elementary the week of April 16.  If you can assist, please contact Harold.  The next give-away will be in May at Crestview Elementary. 


Farmers Market:

The time is approaching!  On April 23, 2013 in lieu of our regular meeting we will be gathering at Johnnies Hall of Fame for our regular meeting.  The topic will be an overview of responsibilities and tasks associated with the successful operation of our orange juice stand at the Farmers Market. 


Senior Citizen Luncheon:

Thanks to Adam Nelson and his team for serving our community this past Saturday (April 13).  Thanks also to Randy Ehrhardt for hosting at West Des Moines Christian Church. 


District 6000 Shoe Drive:

The goal is to collect $15 or a pair of shoes for each member in Rotary District 6000.  The donations will be provided to poor children in Africa.  To save the need for transportation of shoes, donations are best!  Let Club Treasurer Hillman know if you would like to contribute. 


Free Music:

I don’t know how he does it but here is yet one more free day of music courtesy (at least in part) by Bob Start.  If you like Jazz, if you like free, then head to Java Joes on April 21 for an all day event that starts at 10:00 a.m.  


Three Minute Speaker:

Naura Heiman Godar was our three minute speaker.  Since she has done this before, she stated that she still had the same husband and child but now had a new position:  she is now with RDG Architects.  Her husband is a writer and a professor and also produces commercials.  For a free plug for his business, here it is:  Ben Godar, Eleven Bulls.  Check it out at 11bulls.com        Her son is a Cardinals fan and is on two little league teams.  One is the Phillies and the other is the Cubs.  He was depressed since the Cubs lose so much…..  In addition to work and family, Naura is active in the community as a member of our Rotary Club and serving on the American Diabetes Association board.  She then provided a gardening quiz……


Speaker/Program for the Day:

President Chris Nelson introduced Cliff Gold.  He spoke of the Affordable Care Act.  This is perhaps the most sweeping change to our healthcare system since the advent of Medicare in the 60’s.  He discussed what it does and how it works.  The Act is designed to address three primary issues:  Cost, Quality, and Access.  On a per capital basis, the U.S. spends more than any other nation by at least two times per our speaker.  With that spending, he stated that we do rank below some third world countries for health care. 


Per the speaker, the government in some way accounts for 50% of health care spending in the U.S.  This is through Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs.  Government reimbursement tends to be at a lesser rate than private pay.  As a result, private pay costs are typically 30% higher than government paid costs. 


The Affordable Care Act is designed to address the 15% of population that is uninsured.  It does this by requiring health insurance for everyone and penalizing those that don’t have it.  The Supreme Court said that the ACA was a tax and that the government could impose a tax.  That tax is the penalty of $3,000 per individual.  Note:  once the tax collections commence, it is then possible to challenge the ability of the government to levy and collect this tax.  Our speaker noted that tax subsidies will assist about 2/3 of the population to purchase health insurance. 


Small employers of less than 50 employees often times provided coverage for their full time employees.  They won’t have to offer health insurance in the future.  Larger companies that don’t provide health insurance will incur penalties of $3,000 per employee per year.  This is likely much less than their were previously paying for health insurance so this will result in a shift of the health care cost from the private sector to the public sector.  In addition, some companies have been cutting the number of hours worked by employees.  For part time employees (less than 30 hours per week), health insurance is not something that employers are required to provide. 


The system appears complex at best with health care exchanges being established across the country to allow individuals to apply for health insurance, review options, and purchase their plans.  Given that up to 2/3 of the population will be eligible for subsidies from the government, the effect will be a significant tax increase and/or significant additions to the federal deficits.  


Regardless of your political preferences, the program will come with a significant cost, it will evolve over time, and additional legal challenges could occur.