Garrett Martin of the Maine Center for Economic Policy shared his research on Maine's experience in attempting to expand health insurance coverage for the uninsured and the lessons that can be learned as we move towards national health reform.
Rotary Meeting for Monday, October 26, 2009 held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

Sergeant at Arms


Frank Prelgovisk was our Sergeants of Arms today. Thanks, Frank!!!!!



Deb Schmid served as Greeter today. Thank you Deb!! Ally Karter will be our Greeter for the October 26 meeting.

50/50 Tickets


Doug Carnrick sold $98 for the 50/50 raffle today and Karen Heck was the winner of $49. Karen will sell tickets on November 2nd. Kim Lindlof won 10 free tickets for next meeting's 50/50 drawing on November 2nd.

World Service Cup


The beneficiary of the donations for this month's World Service Cup will be 2 families that have been affected by domestic violence and which will receive support over the Holidays.

Fined for pictures in the Paper


No Rotarians 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


Karen Heck introduced Janice Kassman, Special Assistant to the President at Colby.

Charlie Guigere introduced Norm Gosselin from the Gardiner Club.

Mark Forde introduced Peter Myers from the Oceanside, CA Club.

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


Eric wished everyone a Happy Halloween and is looking forward to being with us in December.

Seth Sherwood had 5 Happy Dollars. He attended the RI Leadership Institute over the week end in Lewiston and had an opportunity to learn about the upcoming RI Convention in Montreal. He impressed upon the group that this will be the closest this event will come to Maine before 2020 and therefore encouraged those who are interested to register early.

Sara Sylvester shared that 2 weeks ago she was in Chicago at the American Healthcare Association meeting where Oak Grove was recognized with the AHCA Quality Award, one of 2 awarded to Maine Long Term Care Facilities. Congratulations, Sara!!

Peter Garrett had several things to be happy about: 1) He discussed the Rotary Centennial Trail in Benton and shared that a new sign is going up. He invited members interested in sponsoring the signs to contact him. 2) When the trail first opened, only 2 or 3 cars per day would use the lot. Today there are 12-13 per day, which is outstripping the lot's capacity. We'll need to develop an alternate site for cars. 3) The Kennebec-Messalonskee Trails organization has been nominated by CMP as an outstanding land user group (State of Maine award); 4) Emery and Garrett celebrated its 20 year anniversary. The firm is now involved with the largest well in the state, located in Portland, which pumps 3.5M gallons of water/day.

Nikki had 5 Happy Dollars for 1) A big thank you to all those who assisted her friend's father who is in need of a double lung transplant. He's now 5th on the national transplant list; 2) The Breast Cancer Walk that took place over the week end; 3) The successful HGHW walk/run that took place at Colby recently; and 4) For John Dalton's and Inland Hospitals support an attendance at the domestic violence vigil earlier this month. In addition to John and his "crew", there were 12 other Rotarians in attendance as well a several others who showed up at Castonguay Square but left, not knowing the event had adjourned to the Midnight Blues Club. Thanks to you Nikki for taking this on!!

Ken Vlodek had an informational Happy Dollar regarding the $18,300 the Club is giving to WISE. Most of the donation is going to support the Kaoma Elementary School with books for the students. Additionally there will be mats, desks (built in Kaoma) placed in the school. At the High School, $6,000 will assist them in meeting requirements for accreditation with support in the Science and Home Economics wing in the form of subject-specific equipment. A special thanks and recognition was offered for Chris Gaunce who spearheaded this during his tenure a s President of our club when this project was first proposed.

Karen Heck had several Happy dollars..... 1) Apologies to Janice for the miscue on her introduction; 2) Her pride in being associated with this club as it takes on some of the issues she is so passionate about; 3) Bruce was in a recent wine making competition and did very well ..... He now has a new distillery and we can expect to see more locally produced wine; 4) Meg Williams was named one of the top 10 most influential people in Maine by MaineBiz.

Ally Karter had a Happy Dollar from her husband Chuck who wanted the group to know about the free Community Thanksgiving event at the Alfond Youth Center on November 18th. She indicated they are in need of turkeys of anyone is so inclined to make a donation.

Marc Pitman shared that apparently someone video-ed him giving a presentation in Seattle recently. The site is "" and supports non-profit organizations. Also, Marc wanted to remind everyone about the Inland Pops concert this Friday at 7:00 PM at the Opera House.

Sharon Abrams announced that the Home fro Little Wanderers will be the beneficiary of funds raised during the "Battle of the Bridges", better known as the Waterville "Winslow annula football game. Sharon shared her ties to both teams.

Kim Hawkes announced that the AYC Holiday Ball is coming up and will be held on November 6that Champions. Tickets are $100 and there will be over $30,000 in auction items.

Mark Ford again welcomed Peter Myers to the club. Peter and his family are in the process of relocating to Maine from CA but is still officially in the Oceanside Club. He hopes to join us periodically. On another note, Mark shared a reference to the Huts and Trails Program up in Carrabassett Valley for those who are hiking and snowshoe enthusiasts. He and Sandy have had great experiences using those trails over the years.

Chris Gaunce was happy about two things this week: 1) A great performance of cabaret this week end. Congats to the Opera House on another fine production!!! And 2) A big offer of thanks to the rest of the Club for its support of the WISE project that ken spoke about earlier.

Sarah Sugden had a few Happy Dollars for 1) a "Thank You" to the Club for its support of her library's building project and 2) to the Colby Lacrosse Team which will be coming to the library at 6AM on Thursday to help move books to a temporary are while construction is ongoing.



Karen Heck spoke about the Afghan Scholars Program that we heard about over the summer from Qiam Amiri, and shared that the Board, at the encouragement of a number of Club members, has wanted to see how we could help move the project forward. On that note, Janice Kassman was invited to the rostrum to accept a check for $5,000 to support the program. Karen mentioned that this will be used to leverage another $10,000 to help support the efforts to expand this program to more students. Janice thanked the Club and shared that she has been most impressed with Qiam, the program's founder, and offered that we are most likely to see him on the world's stage in the future.

Sarah encouraged the group to get their outstanding slips to Tim ASAP as time is getting short and the Auction is just over a month away.

Dom Borman shared the History of the Nuts and Candy Project, noting the he's doing it again this year as a service to Club members who want these items for the holidays. He's still taking orders and the items will be here in early December.

Upcoming speaker schedule:


November 2, 2009 Nan Bell, Family Violence Project

November 9, 2009 Nikki Desjardins and Cora Corley, RYLA

November 16, 2009 Classification Talks

November 23, 2009 Dave Grenier and Tim Beals, Auction Update and Final Planning

November 30, 2009 Anita Diaz, Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Argentina

Waterville Rotary Club Web Site


Today's Program: National Health Reform (Garret Martin, Maine Center for Economic Policy)

Rotarian Elery Keene introduced our speaker, Garrett Martin of the Maine Center for Economic Policy. Martin's topic was National Health Reform, Lessons from Maine.

Martin cautioned us to bear in mind that health insurance rates across the country have risen at an unsustainable rate, and that about one third of health spending is avoidable.

How we got here:

* 1989 began to cure illness and increase hospital demand, challenging capacity.

* 1929 Health insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) targets workers.

* WWII Amidst labor shortages and wage freezes, companies began offering fringe benefits to attract workers.

* 1943 IRS rules health insurance a deductible expense for employers. Codified in 1953.

* Health insurance costs rose 9% in 1940 to 63% in 1953.

* 1965 Medicare and Medicaid

* Overlay back and forth between insurance companies and the health care system.

Washington in working to expand care by getting more healthy young adults to buy into the system as an offset to persons with expensive needs. Insurance cannot be denied due to pre-existing conditions. Maine has a rating system that limits the amount the sickest consumer can be charged above the healthiest one.

Currently at stake are the affordability issues, a possible public options, and the role of the employer.

Missing are payment reform and cost containment. The current fee-for-service model encourages overuse. Needed are improved quality of care and more attention to mental health.

Once national decisions are made, the states is where action will occur.

Q. What is an accountable care organization?

A. Groups gathering to help pay for care.

Q. Why are there so many auto insurance options, but health insurance is so limited?

A. Health insurance is limited by state regulations. A federal effort is under way to create exchanges with greater opportunities for comparison.

Q. How significant is the cost of health care fraud?

A. Martin has no numbers on specific cost. Most studies say about one third of insurance costs go to avoidable issues.

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