GBONews: 15th Journalists in Aging Fellowship Deadline; WSJ Hit for Ageist Biden Story by Major Media, Colbert and Myers; WHO Fight Over Next Pandemic, Generational Wealth, US Senate on Affordable Dental; Few Blacks in Residential Care; Hmong Adult Day Care; & MORE


E-News of the Journalists Network on Generations.  

June ­­­­10, 2024 — Volume 31, Number 6

EDITOR’S NOTEGBONews, e-news of the Journalists Network on Generations (JNG), publishes alerts for journalists, producers and authors covering generational issues. If you have difficulty getting to the full issue of GBONews with the links provided below, simply go to to read the latest or past editions. Send your news of important stories or books (by you and others), fellowships, awards or pertinent kvetches to GBO News Editor Paul Kleyman. []. To subscribe to at no charge, simply sending a request to Paul with your name, address, phone number and editorial affiliation or note that you freelance. For each issue, you’ll receive the table of contents in an e-mail, so just click through to the full issue at GBONews does not provide its list to other entities. 

In This IssueDemocracy – call or text now. (Available for a limited time, only.)

1. EYES ON THE PRIZE: *** 15th Journalists in Aging Fellowship Deadline, July 12.

2. BEATING AGEISM BEAT: *** WSJ Hit on Ageist Biden Story—Right on the Funny Bone, by New Republic’s“Daily Blast,” Poynter Institute, CNN, Stephen Colbert, Seth Myers and more, with Fox News on defense.

3. GOOD SOURCES: *** “Making Dental Care More Affordable & Available,” U.S. Senate Hearing (May 16, 2024);*** KFF’s Health Policy 101, Edited by Dr. Drew Altman, KFF President and CEO, a primer and expert desktop reference. 

4. THE BOOKMOBILE (PLUS): *** Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies: The Collected Conceits, Delusions, and Hijinks of New Yorkers from 1974 to 1995, documenting NYC living, from the Village Voice


*** “The Fight Over the Next Pandemic,” by Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times “The Daily” podcast with Michael Barbaro; 

*** “Living Together: The Wealth of Generations,” Chris Farrell’s 3-part series for the Marketplace Morning Report on multigenerational households. 

*** “Black Americans are underrepresented in residential care communities,” by Carson Gerber, Nicky Forster and Devi Shastri, Associated Press/CNHI News ;

*** “How Adult Day Care Centers Create an Environment for Social Connection for Older Hmong Adults,” by Macy Yang, Hmong Daily News;

*** “Famed Florida Retirement Community, The Villages, is Being Fed Medicare Advantage Propaganda,” by Trudy Lieberman, Health Care Uncovered blog; 

*** “A Grandad of The Sixties Reflects on Campus Protests and His Little Leaguer’s Future,” by Paul Kleyman, LA Progressive.


15th Journalists in Aging Fellowship Deadline, July 12

*** We did again! For the 15th year applications are open for our reporting fellowships on issues in aging. The program comes via the partnership between The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and publisher, the Journalists Network on Generations. Reporters for the “Class” of 2024-25 will receive a stipend of $1,500, plus all travel expenses to attend GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting this coming fall in Seattle.

To date the program has included 231 alumni, who have produced nearly 825 stories on aging in multiple languages for over 160 media outlets. As in previous years, half of the fellows will be selected from general-audience media and half from ethnic or other minority media outlets that publish/newscast in any language, serving communities within the United States. such as the senior press, LGBTQ or disability media. Staff and freelance reporters are eligible to apply. 

This fellowship provides selected journalists with training about prime issues in aging for a wide range of media audiences, while also enabling the reporters to cover the latest scientific findings, policy debates, innovations and evidence-based solutions. 

Fellows at the conference will research their project stories among GSA’s hundreds of expert presentations by many of the 4,000 gerontologists expected to convene there from across the US and 50 other countries. Sessions and papers will span every wrinkle of our aging world, from cellular-level findings on cancer or Alzheimer’s disease to social research in areas like family caregiving or demographic trends. 

By 2030, one-fifth of the country’s population will be age 65+, with the fastest growing segment being ethnic minorities. Older people will soon equal the number of children under 18 as the U.S. becomes an every-generation nation.

Most media have largely ignored these emerging stories, and most communities are poorly informed about the challenges and opportunities of the longevity revolution. Ageism is pervasive in area from employment to health care, so evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program’s goals are to train journalists about issues and expert sources in aging, and to disseminate accurate information about new scientific findings, policy debates, innovations, and evidence-based solutions.

If you have questions about the fellowships, contact the program’s Co-Directors, Liz, program coordinator, Journalists Network on Generations, or Todd, GSA’s director of communications. You may also contact me, Paul Kleyman, co-founder and Senior Advisor to the program,

Applications for the fellowship program will be reviewed by a selection committee of gerontologists and editorial professionals. Providing our support so far this year are the Silver Century FoundationThe John A. Hartford Foundation, and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation (NIHCM)


WSJ Hit for Ageist Biden Story—Right on the Funny Bone.

*** “Sleazy WSJ Hit Piece on Biden’s Age Gets Brutally Shredded By Dems,” The New Republic’s “Daily Blast” with Greg Sargent (June 6, 2024, 29-minute podcast): 

The Crux: “On [June 5] The Wall Street Journal published a dodgy hit piece about President Biden’s age. Then something unusual happened: Democratic lawmakers went nuclear on the piece, going on record to forcefully undermine its core assertions. This deserves some discussion: Could Dems better ‘work the refs’ the way Republicans do? When liberals do criticize coverage, why do newsroom leaders shrug it off? Why do editors insult our intelligence with phony justifications for the overemphasis on Biden’s age? We chatted with Aaron Rupar, a shrewd media observer and author of the Public Notice Substack, about the deeper problems with the press this saga reveals. Listen to this episode here.”

* “The Wall Street Journal’s story on Biden’s mental fitness: fair or foul?” by Tom Jones, Poynter Institute (June 6, 2024): The Dek: “Is it an honestly reported story on a pertinent topic? Or is it a pointed piece built on quotes from those who don’t want to see Biden reelected? . . . The gist of the 3,000-word article is what the reporters wrote in the sixth paragraph: ‘Some who have worked with him, however, including Democrats and some who have known him back to his time as vice president, described a president who appears slower now, someone who has both good moments and bad ones.’”

Who Says? “That came after this quote from Republican and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy: ‘I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house. He’s not the same person.’”

Fair and Balanced? “So, about this Journal piece. Is it a fairly reported story on a pertinent topic? Or is it a pointed piece based pretty much on quotes and opinions from those who don’t want to see Biden elected to a second term? I’d go with the latter — considering the money quote is from McCarthy, another key anecdote was reported by current Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, and other tales suggesting Biden’s decline are flimsy, at best. (For example, he sometimes talks quietly, he uses notes, and he relies on aides.)”

AND: * “The Wall Street Journal’s story about Biden’s mental acuity suffers from glaring problems,” analysis by Oliver Darcy, CNN (June 6, 2024)

For the Defense: “Biden White House urged Democrats to call back Wall Street Journal as it reported on president’s mental acuity,” by Joseph A. WulfsohnFox News (June 6, 2024): The Lede: “The White House urged Democrats interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for a report about President Biden’s mental acuity to call the newspaper back and push back on ‘false’ narratives, with one congressman defending the president’s sharpness admitting to a reporter he was told to call back.

“In a report titled ‘Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping,’ the Wall Street Journal outlined several instances where the 81-year-old president made gaffes and displayed low energy in various meetings with lawmakers and officials, citing dozens of interviews with Republicans and Democrats who either participated in meetings with Biden or were briefed on them at the time.”

Meanwhile“Stephen Colbert Finds the Focus on Biden’s Age to Be Old News,” by Trish BendixNew York Times “Best of Last Night” column (July 6, 2024): The Dek: “’You heard that right, ladies and gentlemen: Joe Biden is old,’ Colbert said of a Wall Street Journal article on the president’s aptitude.” 

Who’s the WSJ Boss, Again, Stephen? “Still, I am confident that The Wall Street Journal knows ‘Old Man is Old’ is breaking news, but I’m sure they will balance that perspective in their article about their 93-year-old boss Rupert Murdoch’s wedding: ‘Young Buck Ready to [Expletive].’” 

Plus: From Seth Myers — “The Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday that claims President Biden appears to be slipping in private meetings. He keeps saying crazy stuff that makes no sense like, ‘A convicted felon is beating me in the polls.’” 


*** “Examining the Dental Care Crisis in America: How Can We Make Dental Care More Affordable and More Available?” (May 16, 2024): This hearing by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (Senate HELP Committee) addressed: “The lack of affordable oral health coverage for older adults is a significant barrier to accessing oral health care and exacerbates racial, geographic, and disability-related health and wealth disparities,” according the legal-issues nonprofit.” The issue affects 70 million adults,  including 24 million older adults and people with disabilities with Medicare, [who] have no dental coverage. 

The Senate website includes often powerful written testimony by the hearing’s witnesses. For instance, Harvard’s Lisa Simon, MD, DMD, opened her talk, addressing HELP Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-VT, and Ranking Member Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA, (her “fellow physician”) by stating, “Practicing as a dentist in a community health center broke my heart. The wait for my services routinely exceeded 4 months, and I was often forced to extract teeth I could have saved because of insufficient Medicaid funding.” 

Simon recommended, in part: 1. “Make an adult dental coverage a mandatory Medicaid benefit: The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment benefit confirms that children with Medicaid or CHIP have dental coverage, but this protection disappears the moment they become adults. . . . When states do not have a dental benefit, Medicaid programs still pay the price in preventable emergency department visits.” 

2. “Medicare must cover dental care: Medicare has been barred from providing a dental benefit since 1965, causing substantial harms to seniors and people with disabilities. This must be reversed. Fewer than half of Medicare beneficiaries see a dentist each year; when they do, they spend more than $1000 out-of-pocket on their care. . . . The Congressional Budget Office estimated that a universal Medicare dental benefit would cost $23.8 billion per year.”

3. “The evolution of dental care delivery must be a national priority: Oral health research and innovation have lagged behind that in the rest of medicine. CMS only appointed its first Chief Dental Officer in 2021. . . . Without sufficient research funding through the NIH, AHRQ, and elsewhere, the clinical trials, bench research, and sophisticated secondary data analysis needed to determine a causal link between oral and systemic health cannot occur.”

Simon offered this stinging rebuke to her profession: “I should note that organized dentistry has repeatedly lobbied against all of the above policies, dating back to the Social Security Act of 1965. Its lobbying protects the financial interests of dentists as small business owners, not the oral health of patients and communities. And it does not speak for all dentists.”

ALSO, The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearings provide important tips on what Congress is considering in developing legislation with insights into partisan differences on issues. Reporters may find the roster of big-name and lesser-known politicians on the Special Committee, as well as on the HELP committee, to provide a useful list of Senate members who usually have a staff member charged with following issue on aging. As the committee’s website days, “While special committees have no legislative authority, they can study issues, conduct oversight of programs, and advance important causes.”

*** KFF’s Health Policy 101, Edited by Dr. Drew Altman, president and chief executive officer of KFF,  (May 28, 2024): This primer may serve for reporters as an essential desktop reference with 13 chapters written by some of the most knowledgeable experts in the field. Chapters cover the spectrum from Medicare and Medicaid to issues race and equity to the basic health-policy related structures in Congress and the executive branch. A concluding chapter explores “The Politics of Health Care and the 2024 Election.”

Introduction: Altman wrote, “I have long planned to create an online resource or mini ‘textbook’ for faculty and students interested in health policy. . . . For us at KFF, our definition reflects our views and what we do: Health policy centers around, well policy–what the government does, and public programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA, and heavily emphasizes financing and coverage. We also focus relentlessly on people, not health professionals and health care institutions. . . . Our organization changes to play our role as an independent source of analysis, polling, and journalism on national health issues, and as that happens, we will add more content on subjects not covered in this first installment.”


*** Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies: The Collected Conceits, Delusions, and Hijinks of New Yorkers from 1974 to 1995, by Stan Mack, Fantagraphics Underground, large format hard cover, 336 pages, $50): Publisher’s Weekly rightly calls this ’toonish tome a “hefty and hilarious anthology.” It includes more than 300 of Mack’s Village Voice strips depicting scenes and conversations overheard on the streets of New York with, he alleged, “All dialogue guaranteed verbatim.” Well, really he admits, with an reporter’s touch. 

Although Mack’s panels start 50 years ago and will serve up a dose of nostalgic humor for many a Boomer, this book transcends its survey of politics and culture of the past across generations. The reminders abound – fashion fads flipping page-for-page across the decades, Jimmy Carter’s run for president as a Southern quasi-conservative – but are always proffered with compassion, especially for working people from the shop keepers to riders of Metro busses and subway trains. 

Over this compendium’s 20-year span at the Voice, until a new editor unceremoniously canceled the popular strip with no explanation, Mack found his perspective maturing from the initial laugh-out-loud satires of metrosexual lifestyle to sobering social critiques into the ’90s. A 1974 scene at a Soho art gallery has one hipster declaring to another, standing by some apparently inferior canvases, “After looking at this, I think Warhol has a lot of juice.”  

Although the volume’s comedy never quits, increasingly through the years Mack went deeper, often depicting situations much like cinéma vérité documentaries.

In June 1991, for instance, he recorded an extensive dialogue by a leader of the largely Black-occupied encampment of 200 unhoused people in Manhattan’s Tompkins Square Park. The sad soliloquy by a wheelchair-bound organizer followed the heartbreaking raid by 350 NYPD officers to clear them out — to national headlines, on orders from the city’s African American Mayor David Dinkins. 

The monologue Mack created from his interviews with the disheartened dissenter, who is also Black, echoes unsettlingly across today’s urban America from the squats of New York to the tent-clustered alleys of San Francisco and Portland, Ore. 

Snippets of this disabled dissenter’s quotes in the aftermath of the pre-dawn police sweep: “The police went after my dog with a noose on a pole. I threw a barricade, screamed ‘Get Out,’ and got arrested. Now there’s just deprivation, no home for the homeless, no cool for the neighborhood. The park was a balancing act, a three-ring circus, an eyesore, an experiment, a microcosm of New York. It was racial tension. . . . But I’m no provocateur. I’m a 40-year-old paraplegic on a slippery downward slope trying to control my speed.” 

Throughout the book, nobody gets away unskewed, usually with laughs aplenty, such as Mack’s whimsical sketches of the summer body parade on “Asparagus Beach” (the Hamptons, maybe). And, oh, what caught we of the media doing. A broadcast reporter does a pre-sensitive “pre-interview” with a man sleeping on a sidewalk for a homelessness segment. A Billy Joel TV special is pictured entirely through the director’s shot-for-shot calls in the control booth.

And a filmmaker’s creativity on a candy bar commercial, “Mounds vs. Almond Joy,” gets crunched by the agency art directors (“The client wants Bites!”) Anyone remember the jingle, “Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t?” Mack was in the studio. 

Issues of race, sex, politics, media will pass before readers’ eyes, sometimes feeling like a natural history museum diorama, more often feeling like a window on the present.

Gen Beat reporters can request a review copy, press kit and interview with Stan Mack by contacting Gretchen, phone: (646) 883-6648, cell: (917) 378-8689. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the quoted leader at the 1991 Tompkins Square protest as Gabe Pressman. The unnamed depicted man was actually quoting Pressman, a principal organizer, who was not Black. This editor apologizes for any confusion resulting from his misreading of the cartoon. 


*** “The Fight Over the Next Pandemic,” by Apoorva MandavilliNew York Times “The Daily” podcast with Michael Barbaro (June 6, 2024, 24-minute audio with transcript): The DekThe deadline for a new international pandemic plan was last week. So far, negotiations have failed.”

The Lede: “Think back to 2021, the very worst days of COVID when we had thousands of people dying in the US and in the rest of the world. There was just so much confusion about whether to wear masks or not, whether to close schools. And it was very difficult to think what any country should do. . . . We did get the vaccines. Then all of a sudden, there was this hope. But the thing is that those vaccines were really mostly available in the richer countries.”

The Stats: “And by the end of that horrible, horrible year, more than 90 percent of people in the richer countries had had two doses of vaccine. But 2 percent of people in low income countries had had any vaccines.” 

GBONews Backgrounder: This NYT podcast with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Apoorva Mandavilli brought GBONews’ editor back to my files for a study titled, “Infection Diseases—New and Ancient Threats to World Health,” by the University of Illinois, Chicago, gerontologist S. Jay Olshansky and colleagues. The monograph was published in the dryly titled, Population Bulletin, Vol. 52, No. 2, issued by the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit research partner of the US Census Bureau. The publication date: June 1997. That Population Bulletin came out after Laurie Garrett’s 1994 bestseller book, The Coming Plague: newly emerging diseases in a world out of balance, Farrar, Straus, Giroux. Thirty years ago!

In Response: In the Times’ podcast, Mandavilli explains, “The World Health Organization brought together all the countries and launched this process to come up with a playbook to really think about how all the countries of the world need to prevent and respond to the next pandemic and do it in a way that would protect everybody, rich and poor, across the world. And the WHO decided that this . . . needed to be an international treaty, a legally binding treaty.” So 194 countries sent delegates to draft something that all were ready to sign off on it by May 2024, but ended up with a continuing resolution and hope of future agreement. 

Viral Impact: Mandavilli said, “The biggest conflict is exactly what all of this began with, which is the lack of access that low income countries have to things like vaccines.  . . .  The low-income countries . . . were treated pretty poorly by pharma companies during this past pandemic.” 

For example, she said, in 2006, Indonesia, while battling a bird flu outbreak, sent virus samples to World Health Organization (WHO) labs, information that helped pharma companies develop vaccines and tests.  But when the Indonesian Health Ministry sought access to vaccines and related drugs, the drug makers only offered to would sell them the serums at commercial prices Indonesia could not afford. Later, the pharmas told the country “they did not have enough drugs to give Indonesia because richer countries had placed enough purchase orders that there was a delay of two years.” 

The Latest: Because of that paywall, Mandavilli said, low-income nations say they will only pledge to share their disease specimens and data for the pandemic plan, if pharma companies agree to donate 10 percent of the vaccines they make to WHO to distribute to the neediest countries, plus provide another 10 percent at a non-profit or deeply discounted cost. Although the drug makers say they would give some of the vaccines to WHO, but only voluntarily, whereas the low-income countries “want it to be really codified so that there is no loophole.” 

Mandavilli noted: “The United States actually has come up with some very nice plans to help some of these low-income countries set up infrastructure and be prepared for pandemics. But I think crossing pharmaceutical companies is not a place they will go.”

Conspiracy Claims: Mandavilli adds, “There has been so much misinformation and disinformation around this whole issue. . . In the US, for example, there are Republican senators and governors who have come out against the treaty. And they say that this is a power grab by the WHO . . . to allow the director general of the WHO to tell the US what to do. . . . . There is actually an explicit line in the treaty saying that the treaty respects the sovereignty of all the individual nations.”

Alarming: Mandavilli concluded, “For global health experts and for reporters like myself who watch all this stuff, it’s a bit alarming that we now have bird flu right here in the United States. And the next pandemic, pretty much every expert I talk to agrees it’s not a question of if, but when. . .  If we can ever have this treaty ready, we would be so much better prepared . . . But it just doesn’t seem all that likely right now.”

*** “Living Together: The Wealth of Generations” is Chris Farrell’s 3-part series for the Marketplace Morning Report, including: 

Part 1 — “Why multigenerational households are making a comeback in a big way” (April 3, 2024): The Dek: “From 1971 to 2021, the number of people living in multigenerational family households in the U.S. quadrupled to nearly 60 million people.”

A QuoteMarc Freedman, founder of CoGenerate, a nonprofit bridging generations divides, said, “We went from being one of the most age-integrated societies in the world to arguably the most age-segregated — what some people have described as a state of ‘age apartheid,” he said. “And housing has played a critical role in that transformation.”

A Stat: Since 1971, “The share of the U.S. population in these living arrangements more than doubled, rising to 18%, according to Pew Research Center. Scholars at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found “that nearly half of young adults between ages 18 and 29 currently live with their parents. That’s a high not seen since the Great Depression.”

The Upshot:  Farrell commented, “Business consultants and think tanks love the theme of generational warfare. But the notion that the relationship between generations is a zero-sum economic game is wrong. The more powerful story is generational interdependence — including where we live.”

PART 2 — “Students live alongside seniors at this Minnesota residential facility” (May 20, 2024): The Dek — At the Watkins Manor assisted living facility, eight students live and volunteer with 45 senior residents.

Who Said So: “Dylan Kassela attends Winona State University in Winona, Minn. He’ll become a social worker when he graduates. . . . ‘I get to form connections with older adults and learn more about them from their past,’ he said.

And: “‘We learn from them because of their lifestyle, their technology,’ said 93-year-old Alan Thompson. ‘The world has changed so much that we never experienced, even as they have not experienced what we did.’”

PART 3 – “For some, a multigenerational household involves both love and economics,” (May 21, 2024): The Dek: “Following a stroke and Parkinsonism diagnosis, the family of Carol Lawler decided it would be best to come — and live — together.” 

A Fact: “One third of U.S. adults living in a multigenerational household say caregiving is a major reason for the arrangement, including one-quarter who are taking care of an older adult.”

*** “Black Americans are underrepresented in residential care communities, AP/CNHI News analysis finds,” by Carson Gerber, Nicky Forster and Devi Shastri, Associated Press (May 23, 2024):

The Lede: “Norma Upshaw, 82, was living alone south of Nashville, when her doctor said she needed to start in-home dialysis. Her closest family lived 40 miles away, and they’d already scrambled once when the independent senior living facility she had called home — a community of largely Black residents — had closed with 30 days’ notice. Here they were searching, yet again, for an assisted living facility or maybe an affordable apartment that was closer. They couldn’t find either, so Upshaw’s daughter built a small apartment onto her home.”

Fewer Care Options: “Black Americans are less likely to use residential care communities, such as assisted-living facilities, and more likely to live in nursing homes, CNHI News and The Associated Press found as part of an examination into America’s long-term care options. The opposite is true for white Americans.” 

The Problem: “The disparity is well-known to those who work in and research assisted-living settings, and experts say the reasons why are complicated. Where to place a parent or loved one is driven in part by personal and cultural preferences, but also insurance coverage and physical location of residential care communities. All of these factors vary state by state, family by family. The result is older Black Americans may be left out of living situations that can create community, prevent isolation and provide help with daily tasks while allowing for a level of personal independence.”

Key Stats: “The AP and CNHI News analyzed data from the most recent National Post-acute and Long-term Care Study, published in 2020, and found Black people are underrepresented in residential care communities nationally by nearly 50%. Black Americans account for about 9% of people over 65 in the U.S. But they are underrepresented in residential care communities at 4.9% of the population, and overrepresented in nursing homes — about 16% of residents. 

The situation is flipped for white Americans, who make up 75% of Americans over 65 but are 88% of the people in residential care communities. The AP-CNHI News analysis also found that other ethnic and racial groups are underrepresented in assisted living facilities, but only Black Americans were also overrepresented in nursing homes.” 

*** “How Adult Day Care Centers Create an Environment for Social Connection for Older Hmong Adults,” by Macy YangHmong Daily News (May 28, 2024): 

The Lede: “Older Hmong adults traditionally hold a unique status and respect in their culture, yet that narrative is shifting for the aging population. Older adults are more vulnerable to social isolation and increased loneliness due to changes in their health and social connection. The number of foreign-born Hmong adults over the age of 50 make up 33% of the U.S. Hmong population, according to the Pew Research Center.

A Quote: “’Social isolation and loneliness often co-occur, but not always, and both are associated with reduced health and well-being over time,’ said Dr. Kimberly Van Orden, associate professor of Psychiatry, at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and co-director of the Rochester Roybal Center for Social Ties & Aging Research.

A Solution: “Adult day care centers or ADC model emerged several decades ago because families cannot afford institutional care, are not able to provide care for their loved ones because of work, or family care providers need respite care. There are 7500 ADCs across the U.S. according to the National Adult Day Services Association that serve more than 260,000 participants. ADC allows older adults to live independently at home while receiving structured social, therapeutic services and meals for part of the day. The Guardian Angel, an adult day care center, in Fresno, Calif., sits subtly inside a 13,000 square-foot building, and serves the adult and disabled Hmong population. . . . Adult day care centers are commonly known in Hmong as ‘tsev kajsiab’ or house of joy.

*** “Famed Florida Retirement Community, The Villages, is Being Fed Medicare Advantage Propaganda,” by Trudy LiebermanHealth Care Uncovered (May 30, 2024): The Lede: “These days, much of what passes for health journalism reads like press releases rather than objective and thorough reporting. In this atmosphere, Medicare Advantage plans are presented in glowing terms without addressing their drawbacks and alternatives or informing seniors of the significant problems the plans can create. One such story turned up in early May in The Villages Daily Sun, with the ominous headline, ‘Inside the assault on Medicare Advantage: White House cuts to the popular health plan raise prices and risk benefits for seniors.’” (The paper has taken this story down.

What’s Wrong With This Picture? Her piece exposes a deep flaw showing how national Medicare coverage has been influenced to positively promote Medicare Advantage (MA) policies without much regard for the “small-print” contractual traps in this insurance type, such as “prior authorization” clauses for costly treatments and narrow-network restrictions to out-of-network specialists, despite a primary care doctors referral. 

Florida Sold Short: Lieberman writes, “It’s a good bet many [Florida Villages retirees] have Advantage plans given how those plans have saturated the state. It’s also a good bet many residents may struggle to get their Advantage health plans to pay some of their bills when they are sick. In a study released two years ago, the federal Office of the Inspector General found services under MA plans were delayed or denied even though the requests met Medicare’s coverage rules.”

Overpaid: “Many Medicare experts believe that Advantage plans have long been overpaid by the government, which at last is now taking small steps to slow down what has amounted to a proverbial gravy train for the plans. As I reported in my last post, ‘The press is beginning to take notice of how health insurers are raiding the Medicare trust fund.” That story noted MA plans are driving up the cost of Medicare by 22%.” 

Follow: Trudy Lieberman, a past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists, spent two decades as the top investigative health care reporter and editor for Consumer Reports. She blogged over many years for the Columbia Journalism Review. She’s well worth following @Trudy_Lieberman. 

*** “A Grandad of The Sixties Reflects on Campus Protests and His Little Leaguer’s Future,” by Paul Kleyman, LA Progressive (May 23, 2024): 

The Lede: “Watching news of college protests has stirred a strange mixture in me of Sixties pride and 21st century grandfatherly angst. I recently viewed my grandson hitting a single, stealing second and scoring a run, as I sat 500 miles away, thanks to the miracle of Little League live-streaming. Our sharp-eyed hitter is not so far, in these precarious times, from young adulthood and facing some of life’s hardest decisions about his career, love and maybe where he stands in politics and society.”

So Soon: “Thoughts about my grandson’s risky future gelled into a sobering present sooner than his next at-bat, when a Gen X friend shared his worries that his son, a college freshman, announced his intention to join his campus protest against United States policy on Gaza. . . Tugging at his gut was the recognition that his skateboard-agile offspring was ‘for the first time, in a true political awakening.’ But, then, he asked the toughest of all questions for any parents eyeing their child’s emergence from hatchling to fledgling at the nest’s edge — What to say: ‘Do I want to suppress that to keep him safe?’” 

Déjà vu: “My friend’s dilemma also throbbed with memories for me in the tumultuous spring of 1965. Those pains swelled happily down to my swelling soles after trudging 19 miles in thin tennis shoes over the Alabama highway from Selma to Montgomery, and only weeks later ached in my butt, after sitting-in till dawn along the cold marble corridors of the University of Minnesota’s administration building, where we protested a sudden tuition jump that was sure to hit low-income students. Times now do differ from the Sixties, yet so much has been on ‘repeat’ during protests since then.”

The Journalists Network on Generations (JNG), founded in 1993, publishes Generations Beat Online News ( JNG provides information and networking opportunities for journalists covering generational issues, but not those representing services, products or lobbying agendas. Copyright 2024 Paul Kleyman. For more information contact GBO Editor Paul Kleyman. 

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