Category Archives: Women Corporate Directors

Happy Birthday Susan!

Birthday Girl, Susan Neumann

Jan, Diane, Susan , Londi, Cathi, Suzy

This past week, which has been very busy for me with Alicia’s graduation, Shaking it Up for Science with the ARCS Gala, attending the Women Corporate Directors dinner, attending an all-day Pacific Continental Bank Board meeting, producing and attending two ZINO Society Roundtable Investment meetings, a Harbor Club Board of Governors meeting, a Tateuchi Center Nominating Committee meeting, serving as a finals judge for the Seattle University Business Plan Competition, attending the  Edward V. Fritzky Chair Dinner as a UW Foster School of Business CIE Board member, an Enroute investors meeting, and opening night of Guys and Dolls at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, I took a fun time out to help Susan Neumann celebrate her birthday at The Capital Grille with friends Suzy Krabbe, Londi Burnett, Diane Kuenster, and Jan Rogers.

We usually plan a brief luncheon three times per year to celebrate the birthdays of these friends and Monday was the day prior to the departure of several of the group on a Silversea Baltic Sea cruise.  Happy Birthday and Bon Voyage Susan!

Health-Care Law Diagnosed Unconstitutional

It was very interesting to hear yesterday the recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson that the new health-care law that requires all Americans to obtain insurance is unconstitutional.  It recalled for me many of the points that Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna, made in remarks to the Women Corporate Directors group last April which I summarized in this blog posting.

So now we can watch and wait as this issue no doubt wends its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Is the new health care plan constitutional?

Tuesday evening I attended the Women Corporate Directors’ dinner at the offices of Perkins Coie.  I have been a founding member of the Seattle Chapter of WCD since it was organized about a year or so ago.  Phyllis Campbell and Annette Jacobs are the Co-Chairs of our chapter and we are one of 23 chapters in the world.  The mission of Women Corporate Directors is to offer forums for women who serve on Corporate Boards, where they can have a candid, thoughtful and confidential dialogue on issues facing directors and their companies.
Our featured speaker last night was Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna, who had been an attorney at Perkins Coie until he ran for public office.  He talked about some of the roles of the Attorney General’s office which includes handling all the legal services for state government.  In addition, they represent all the abused and neglected children in the state.  He mentioned a shocking statistic that during the first three months of 2010, there have been 1,100 new abused and neglected children cases and the total number for 2009 was 7,000 cases of abused and neglected children.  The Attorney General’s office also handles the prosecution of sexually violent predators.
He also took the time to carefully articulate the background on the lawsuit he is involved in regarding the recent health initiative passed by the U.S. Congress.  His issue and that of the lawsuit is not whether the new health plan is a good or bad policy, but instead whether it is actually constitutional.  His point is that the federal government does not have the power to compel the people to buy health insurance and that this is an issue whose power should be reserved for the people or the states.  One of the primary issues is whether the federal government can require people to go to the marketplace and buy anything; in this case health care insurance.  Though health care insurance is not a tax, the intention is that the enforcement of purchasing health insurance will be managed by the IRS since they do have the experience of compelling people to follow specific rules or face penalties.
In FAQs on his website, Attorney General McKenna makes the following points about the main provisions of the lawsuit:
1)      The unprecedented and unconstitutional requirement that individuals lacking health insurance must purchase private insurance or face a fine; and
2)      2) The massive expansion of the Medicaid program which will unconstitutionally require states to spend billions more on this program at a time when state budgets are already in crisis.
He and the other participants in the lawsuit believe both of these mandates represent expansions of federal authority that violate the 10th Amendment, which states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” They’re also concerned the individual mandate violates the Commerce Clause because never before has Congress required all Americans to purchase a specific product in the private marketplace.
Though he was quite clear and specific in his remarks to the group that this lawsuit is not about actual health care policy, but constitutional issues instead, it was interesting to hear one of the WCD members chastise him for joining the lawsuit and “not recognizing the need for universal health care in our country”.