Congressman Michael Michaud provided the Club Membership with an update from Washington on a number of important areas including Health Care Reform and new legislation and initiatives designed to bring Federal funding to Maine.
Rotary Meeting for Monday, October 19, 2009 held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

In Sarah's absence, Seth Sherwood chaired today's meeting.

Sergeant at Arms


Elery Keene was our Sergeants of Arms today. Thanks, Elery!!!!!



David Geller served as Greeter today. Thanks you David!! Ally Karter will be our Greeter for the October 26 meeting.

50/50 Tickets


Frank Prelgovisk sold $121 for the 50/50 raffle today and Doug Carnrick was the winner of $60.50. Doug will sell tickets on October 26th. Don Plourde won 10 free tickets for next meeting's 50/50 drawing on October 26th.

World Service Cup


The beneficiary of the donations for this month's World Service Cup will be announced on the 26th.

Fined for pictures in the Paper


Barbara Woodlee and Don Borman had their pictures in the paper last week and were fined.

Cell Phones


A $10.00 fee for cell phone ringing continues for the 2008-2009 Club year. No fines assessed today.

On Leave


Cam McKay

Joan Phillips-Sandy

Paul LePage

Visiting Rotarians and Guests


Sue Guigere introduced Congressman Mike Michaud, a fellow Rotarian.

Ken Walsh introduced Pat Stockford and Cindy Fuchswanz from WISE.

Jim Schmidt introduced his nephew.

Don Plourde introduced Betty Mills from the Sunrise Club.

Eric Haley introduced Peter Thiboutot, Assistant Superintendant of AOS 92.

What can you do?


* Tell Board Members what you are passionate about for community projects

* Tell the program committee about interesting speakers/topics you would like to listen to

* Be involved, join a committee

* Be active

* Be positive

Happy Dollars


In the interest of time and to provide maximum time to Congressman Michaud, Seth indicated that we would be deferring Happy Dollars until the meeting on October 26th.



Suzanne Uhl-Melanson announced that the Foundation Committee will be meeting after adjournment.

Ed Oliver announced that the Auction Committee will also be meeting after adjournment.

Don Borman announced that he'll be taking orders for nuts and candies after this meeting. They plan to have deliveries in early December.

Nikki Desjardins reminded everyone that she is selling our community service T-shirts for $10 and noted that these are a great way of showing off Rotary when we do our community service work.

Tim Beals reminded the membership that Auction slips are due in today. He also announced a Board decision to forego a Spring fundraising raffle if the Auction raises $2,000 more that the budget. In order to make that happen, we need to maximize the number if items being auctioned.

Ken Vlodek took a few minutes to provide the club membership with background information about the WISE Zambia project, noting that this came about after Tom Davis recommended we support the project being sponsored by the Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment, an international organization with its Maine contact located in Readfield. Pat Stockford and Cindy Fuchswanz representing WISE were with us today to receive a check for $17, 500 which is part of an $18,300 commitment from the Waterville Rotary Club. Ken noted that this money will support education materials at the high school that has been built in Kaoma. Pat provided a brief description of the high school project, noting that this donation will be supporting the science and home economics wing of the new high school that has been built and noted that this is the largest donation their group has received and expressed their thanks to the club for its support. Ken noted that he will ask Cathy to post a video about the project on the Club website.

Upcoming speaker schedule:


October 26, 2009 Garret Martin, Maine Center for Economic Policy "National Health Reform"

November 2, 2009 Anita Diaz, Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Argentina

Waterville Rotary Club Web Site


Today's Program: Congressman Michael Michaud

Sue Guigere introduced Congressman Michaud, our Representative from the 2nd District, to the membership.

Congressman Michaud thanked the Club for inviting him to speak today and indicated that he would like to cover a number of items and then take questions. He addressed the following:

Deep Water and Wind Projects - He reviewed the status of funding for these alternative energy projects for Maine, noting that there is currently $8M designated for our state to support energy recovery from deep water tidal projects; a composite windmill blade development project at UMO; and an education program for blade installers at KVCC ($2.8M).

Homeland Security - He also spoke about a $500,000 Homeland Security project for the Somerset County Communications Center.

Veterans' Affairs Funding - He reviewed legislation that was recently passed to support advanced funding for the VA system to support our veterans with cancers associated with Agent Orange. Regarding the latter, he noted that the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs is considering support for expanding MGMC's Alfond Cancer Center (Augusta) to address veterans' advanced oncology needs in the state.

Health Care Reform - Congressman Michaud discussed the current status of the health care reform efforts in Washington, noting that last week, the Senate Finance Committee voted on a Bill and passed it on to the Senate where it is now being merged with the other Bills that are being considered. He indicated some of his concerns, including the effect on funding for nursing homes and home health agencies (HHAs) and on Medicaid funding for Maine. The current Bill would force $500M in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, significantly affecting nursing homes and HHA's, forcing 9.5% and 19% expense reductions, respectively, when most are already operating in the red. He indicated that while Maine ranks high with respect to efficiency and the number of enrollees in Medicare and Medicare/Medicaid coverage, it also ranks lowest with respect to reimbursement to providers. In general, our demographics of being the oldest state and having high Medicaid and Medicaid/Medicare enrollment hurts us.

He noted that the Finance Committee Bill provides additional Medicaid funding to states where eligibility is less than 133% of the Federal Poverty levels so that more individuals can be enrolled. This puts states like Maine, a legacy state, at a disadvantage because current eligibility is already at 133%, which means we would not receive any additional funding.

Solutions he is proposing are to 1) Reimburse all providers (rather than just primary care providers) for care rendered to Medicaid patients at the 100% of Medicare levels and 2) Classify Maine in the Boston Metropolitan market for reimbursement purposes, as has been done for NH and VT. This will likewise bring additional funding to providers who have been significantly underfunded in recent years. He expects that the Bill from the House of Representatives will come out during the 2nd week in November.


1. Q. In the Health Care Reform discussions, no one is talking about the European systems. Why??

A. He was disappointed that there has been no open dialogue on this perspective of providing health care differently. He noted the direction of the discussions seems to have been left up to the leadership which did not consider these options.

2. Q. Can you comment on the "public option"?

A. A public option will be in the Bill that comes out of the House. He noted that there is only a small % of the population that they project will need to take advantage of it. He favors a public option.

3. Q. What is a "legacy state"?

A. A legacy state is one where eligibility for programs is at or above the Federal benchmark level of a certain % of the poverty level. Regarding Medicaid, while some states like Maine are at 133% of the poverty level, other states are at 68%, which is where the disparity in funding occurs.

4. Q. When will the new US Attorney for Maine be announced?

A. Not sure when it will be announced. Acknowledged that many candidates are on hold and this is a concern to him and others.

5. Q. A lot of news commentators have indicated the "merged" health care Bill has been written. Is this correct? If yes, where can we see it?

A. The final Bill that will be considered has not yet been written. Because of its size, the Congressman has asked that members of Congress be given at least72 hours to review it before deliberations begin. This could be a long or a short time period depending on how many changes have been made.

6. Q. Where do you stand on HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act?

A. This is an amendment to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General and the manner in which such audits are reported. Congressman Michaud indicated that he will need to see where the changes are before he develops a position. It's unlikely to be acted upon this year.

7. Q. If there's $500B in Medicare Fraud and Abuse savings that need to be recovered, why aren't we getting some of that back now?

A. This falls into the GAO aggressively achieving their ongoing initiatives and really can't be counted as savings.

8. Q. Regarding the discussion about "health care reform" vs. "health insurance reform", what is the health insurance industry unhappy with??

A. Their major areas of concern appear to be the cost shifting to commercial carriers that is likely to continue to occur and the prohibition against pre-existing conditions. He feels strongly that preventive care will be an important element of the final Bill.

9. Q. Can you discuss malpractice reform?

A. While it is definitely part of the problem, he doesn't feel that malpractice reform, alone, will solve the cost of care problem. It will certainly be a component, however. He referenced a Bill which he co-sponsored that would address frivolous law suits, but that was just a start. He noted that Maine seems to be doing it right and described our model which includes review panels before a case can be filed. He noted that our model is often referred to when malpractice reform is discussed.

After his presentation, Seth presented Congressman Michaud with a Rotary 4-Way Test keychain as a token of appreciation and with the thanks of the Club.