August 1, 2005 Senior Editor Regular News Confronted by the government, section holds its ground Confronted by the government, section holds its ground Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Little did Scott Solkoff realize when he became chair of the Elder Law Section that he would wind up summoned to the Capitol and threatened with criminal prosecution.The government accused him — and Florida’s other elder law attorneys — of illegally helping qualify rich clients for Medicaid.Solkoff countered that elder law attorneys are simply doing their duty to advise their clients on how to protect their life savings so they can qualify for needed insurance through the Medicaid program and receive needed health care without becoming impoverished.“It was a call to courage and a call to principle,” Solkoff told members gathered at the Elder Law Luncheon at The Florida Bar’s Annual Meeting in Orlando June 24.“I was never prouder of this membership when we voted as an executive council that our clients will always come first. When we look at reforms to the Medicaid program, that even if it meant we were going to negotiate ourselves to a worse position business-wise, if we would lose money because we would end up solving the problems that we help people with, that we would prefer that fate. So we recognize that we are advocates, above all, rather than a trade organization.”Here’s what happened, according to Solkoff, a Boyton Beach attorney who is the son of Jerome Solkoff, a founding member of the Elder Law Committee and the second chair when it began as a section:On March 9, he and then-Bar President Kelly Overstreet Johnson were called to a meeting at the Capitol by the office of the secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration.When they walked into a conference room in the Office of the Attorney General at the Capitol, Solkoff said in an interview, “It turned out to be an ambush.” In the room were high-ranking officials from the Attorney General’s Office, Department of Elder Affairs, the Office of the Governor, and AHCA.One government official, he said, was holding an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal and the accusation was that “those elder law attorneys are qualifying those rich clients for Medicaid.”“It took an hour from us educating them,” Solkoff said. “The tone in that room was completely changed after we left.”In summing up their argument, Solkoff offered this scenario:“If you have a married couple who saved up to $200,000 throughout their life, one needs nursing home care that costs $5,000 a month, they will be completely wiped out and the other spouse has nothing. What we do is protect what they have saved, and so they can qualify for Medicaid for care, and use their own dollars to pay for what Medicaid doesn’t cover.“We tried to turn the discussion around that we are not nefarious attorneys trying to bilk the system, but that this is a real social problem that people are facing.”What started with threats of criminal prosecution ended in a changed tone of agreeing to work together to solve the problem, he said.“I say with no ego that I felt that I was at my very best that I have ever been that day,” Solkoff told the elder law attorneys at the luncheon.“It was largely because the words coming out of my mouth were your words, and the words I had heard from all the seminars I attended, and from listening to my father. I was able to explain to the government that we weren’t crooks; we are actually helping people and we are following the law.“I commend this membership for standing strong this year and for being able to talk to the government in a way that was respectful, but not cowed,” Solkoff said. “doing that, we were able to mend fences and help educate people.”During his term as chair, Solkoff created the Joint Public Policy Task Force, a combined effort of the section and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys.Lauchlin Waldoch, a co-chair of that task force, praised Solkoff and Johnson for their efforts on the issue.“On that particular issue, I had a very good meeting,” Waldoch said. “The Attorney General’s Office has told us unequivocally that we are not on their radar screen. We are not even on their list, not even at the bottom of the list. So we are going to use that as an opportunity. They have asked us to work with them on a going-forward basis.”The section also now has two lobbyists.“There is a strong likelihood of a special session on Medicaid in October or November,” Waldoch said. “So we’ve got a very, very busy time ahead of us in the next four or five months.”The section’s goal, Solkoff said, is to work with the legislature “to ensure that there is a government system that provides for the health care for people who need it. It’s rather basic. You have people who have worked all their lives and saved their small fortune, and they will lose it all and then be totally reliant on the government dole. We want to make sure there is a health care system in place that doesn’t require total impoverishment.”The section’s new chair, Chris Likens, said, “I am sure Scott had absolutely no clue what was coming ahead,” when he became chair.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A former Suffolk County Community College associate dean was sentenced Monday to four to 12 years in prison for driving while high on drugs and causing a crash that killed two men two years ago.Robert Beodeker had pleaded guilty in April at Nassau County court to charges of vehicular homicide and driving while ability impaired.“This defendant’s disastrous decision to drive while high on crystal meth resulted in the tragic loss of two innocent lives,” said Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.Prosecutors said the 52-year-old Aquebogue man was driving a GMC pickup truck along the Meadowbrook State Parkway when his truck struck a disabled vehicle parked on the side of the roadway on March 4, 2013.Two men who were fixing the vehicle, 76-year-old John Elder of Freeport and 65-year-old Edward Ross of North Bellmore, were pronounced dead at the scene.New York State police arrested Beodeker, who was found to be high on methamphetamine at the time.
The venerable NetBeans Java IDE has joined the ranks of the Apache Software Foundation’s many Top-Level Projects (TLP), following its version 11.0 release earlier this month. “Being part of the ASF means that NetBeans is now not only free and Open Source software: it is also, uniquely, and for the first time, part of a foundation specifically focused on enabling open governance,” said Geertjan Wielenga, vice president of Apache NetBeans. “Every contributor to the project now has equal say over the roadmap and direction of NetBeans.”NetBeans, the open-source Java development environment, tooling platform and application framework, joined the Apache Incubator in October 2016. The project was begun as a student project in what is now the Czech Republic and acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1999. The company open-sourced the project in 2000, and became part of Oracle after it bought Sun in 2010. Scoped Storage: updates and best practices for Android Q beta 3Android announced updates and best practices for Scoped Storage in Android Q’s beta 3 release in response to user feedback. Scoped Storage takes the fundamental principle from Application Sandboxing, which is to isolate apps to protect them from any malicious apps, according to the company. As users update their existing app to work with Scoped Storage, they’ll be able to use a new manifest attribute to enable the new behavior for the app on Android Q devices, even if the app is targeting API level 28 or lower. Also, Scoped Storage will be required in next year’s major platform release for all apps. The list of best practices includes how to store shared media files, store app-internal files, work with permissions and file ownership, work with many files efficiently, integrate with the system file picker and more. The full list of updates and best practices can be viewed in this post. Rust releases Rust 1.34.1 and rustup 1.18.1The Rust team updated its Rust programming language to version 1.34.1 as well as a version 1.18.1 for the rustup installer. The patch fixes two false positives and a panic when macros were checked in Clippy, a tool that provides a collection of lints to catch common coding mistakes. Meanwhile, the patch for rustup fixes an issue that introduced regression which prevented installing Rust through the shell script on older platforms. Now, rustup the issue, avoids forcing TLS v1.2 on the platforms that don’t support it.The full details of the fixes can be viewed in this post.