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Roundtable: Gay Rights Victory, San Diego Hospice Bankruptcy, Climate Change Challenge

June 28, 2013 1:58 p.m.

Joanne Faryon, inewsource

Thom Senzee, 429 Magazine

Susan White, InsideClimate News

Related Story: Roundtable: Gay Rights Victory, San Diego Hospice Bankruptcy, Climate Change Challenge

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

MARK SAUER: ON THE KPBS ROUND TABLE TODAY, HISTORY IS MADE AS THE SUPREME COURT ALLOWS MARRIAGE BETWEEN SAME‑SEX COUPLES TO STAND AND CREDITORS ARE CIRCLING WHAT'S LEFT OF SAN DIEGO HOSPICE IN BANKRUPTCY COURT AS POSSIBLE CRIMINAL CHARGES LOOM. PLUS, THE MILITARY SITE'S CLIMATE CHANGE IS A VITAL NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE LEADS THE WAY ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, BUTTRESSING PRESIDENT OBAMA'S LAND MARK SPEECH ON THE SUBJECT. I'M MARK SAUER AND THE KPBS ROUND TABLE STARTS NOW. JOINING ME ARE THOM SENZEE, POLITICAL COLUMNIST FOR 429 MAGAZINE, JOANNE FARYON, AND SUSAN WHITE, EDITOR OF INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS. LET'S BEGIN WITH THE HISTORIC RULINGS BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT THIS WEEK. THE JUSTICES DECLARED THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT PASSED DURING THE SECOND CLINTON ADMINISTRATION WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE COURT LET STAND A LOWER RULING THAT OVER TURNED CALIFORNIA'S PROPOSITION 8 WHICH BANS SAME‑SEX MARRIAGE. TAKEN TOGETHER, THE RULINGS WERE SEEN AS A VICTORY FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY AND SUPPORTERS WHO VIEW SAME‑SEX MARRIAGE AS A MATTER OF CIVIL RIGHTS. THOM SENZEE LET'S START WITH PROP 8. TELL US ABOUT THAT TECH TECHNICALITY.

THOM SENZEE: PROPOSITION 8 WAS OVER TURNED ON A TECHNICALITY. THE TECHNICALITY WAS THE FACT THAT THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT IN A FIVE TO FOUR RULING DECIDED THAT THE PARTIES ‑‑ THE PLAINTIFFS DID NOT HAVE STANDING. THEY HAD NO INJURY. THEY HAD IT MORE THAN A YEAR AND A HALF TO COME UP WITH JUST ONE, A SINGLE EXAMPLE OF HOW THEY WERE INJURED ‑‑ BY OTHER PEOPLES MARRIAGES.

MARK SAUER: WE SHOULD REMIND FOLKS ‑‑ THESE PLAINTIFFS THAT CAME FORTH WERE THE BACKERS OF PROP 8 HERE IN CALIFORNIA.

THOM SENZEE: IT WAS A CONSORTIUM. THE CASE WAS EMBODIED IN INDIVIDUAL PLAINTIFFS. HOLLINGSWORTH VERSUS PERRY BROUGHT HOME THE FACT THAT THE BIGGEST THREAT TO MARRIAGE IS DIVORCE, NOT MORE MARRIAGE.

MARK SAUER: WHETHER IT'S U SAME‑SEX COUPLES OR HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES, IT'S DIVORCE.

JOANNE FARYON: THE GOVERNMENT REFUSED TO DEFEND PROP 8, ISN'T THAT ‑‑

THOM SENZEE: WHEN THE BROWN ADMINISTRATION CAME INTO OFFICE AND PAMELA HARRIS BECAME OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL IN CALIFORNIA THERE WAS LET'S JUST SAY A LACK OF WILL TO ENFORCE PROPOSITION 8 AND FIGHT FOR ITS SURVIVAL AND THANKS TO THE FACT THAT WE HAVE PEOPLE IN OFFICE AT THIS MOMENT WHO ARE ‑‑ WHO CARE ABOUT THE FREEDOM TO MARRY, AND IT IS AN ISSUE OF LIBERTY, AND IT'S AN ISSUE OF EQUAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL RIGHTS. IT'S A VERY SIMPLE ALL‑AMERICAN ISSUE. YOU CAN'T GET MORE ALL AMERICAN THAN WANTING TO MARRY THE PERSON YOU LOVE.

SUSAN WHITE: WE WERE DRIVING IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WE LIVE IN NORTH PARK AND THERE WAS A GAY FLAG IN A FRONT YARD AND WE LOVE AMERICA, A PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN SIGN. AND IT'S TOUCHING. IT REALLY ‑‑ IT TOUCHES YOU.

THOM SENZEE: THAT FLAG YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, IT'S ACTUALLY CALLED THE GUYS WHO DESIGNED THAT FLAG IN THE EARLY 70S I THINK IT MAY HAVE EVEN BEEN 1970 CALLS THE FREEDOM FLAG. THOSE ARE ALL THE COLORS OF THE RAINBOW AND I THINK THAT FLAG TODAY IS ESPECIALLY BELONGS TO ALL OF US AS AMERICANS. THERE WILL NEVER REPLACE THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE, THE STARS AND STRIPES WHICH I WOULDN'T WANT TO HAPPEN, BUT I HAVE NO PROBLEM FLYING IT UNDERNEATH OUR OLD GLORY.

JOANNE FARYON: I HEARD YESTERDAY ON NPR HOW HAS THE MEDIA PORTRAYED THIS DECISION AS BEING A VICTORY AND THERE HAS BEEN SORT OF AN ISSUE WITH THAT IN TERMS OF ARE WE HEARING, YOU KNOW, THE OPPOSITION?

THOM SENZEE: WHEN YOU DO A STORY ABOUT THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT YOU COULD HAVE THE KKK ON TOO, IF YOU WANTED, AND GIVE THEM EQUAL TIME. BUT THERE COMES A POINT WHERE YOU KIND OF SCRATCH YOUR HEAD AND SEA, NO, YOU KNOW, THAT'S ENOUGH AIR TIME FOR HATE.

MARK SAUER: WE'RE GOING TO GET INTO A LOT OF THESE ISSUES IN A MOMENT, I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S A HOUSE KEEPING THING. CALIFORNIA APPEALS COURT SAYS WEDNESDAY IT WOULD WAIT AT LEAST 25 DAYS BEFORE ALLOWING SAME‑SEX MARRIAGES HERE IN CALIFORNIA.

THOM SENZEE: I BELIEVE IT'S ACTUALLY IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHALL HAVE 25 DAYS TO DO ALL OF THIS ‑‑ AS YOU SAID HOUSE KEEPING, CHANGE THE FORMS ‑‑

MARK SAUER: ALTHOUGH I THINK OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL PAMELA HARRIS DID SAY IF YOU CAN DO IT SOONER, SHE'D LIKE TO SEE IT IMMEDIATELY.

THOM SENZEE: SHE SEES NO REASON TO WAIT HERE IN CALIFORNIA.

SUSAN WHITE: IT'S A BIG BOOST TO THE ECONOMY, RIGHT? QU WAS SEEING THE NUMBERS. WEDDINGS AND ‑‑

THOM SENZEE: DIVORCE LAWYERS.

SUSAN WHITE: YEAH, WELCOME TO ALL THE TRAPPINGS OF MARRIAGE.

THOM SENZEE: THE REAL POINT, I THINK THE MOST EXCITING THING FOR GAYS, LESBIANS, BI‑AMERICANS, BISEXUAL AMERICANS IS THAT NOW WE HAVE ‑‑ THE 1138 RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES AND PROTECTIONS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFFORDS TO ALL MARRIED COUPLES AT LEAST HERE IN CALIFORNIA AND IN OTHER STATES WHERE SAME‑SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGAL.

MARK SAUER: YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE OTHER RULING THAT CAME DOWN THIS WEEK ON THE SAME DAY. EXPLAIN WHAT DOMA IS AND HOW THAT DIFFERS FROM THE CALIFORNIA ISSUE.

THOM SENZEE: DOMA WAS PASSED IN 1996 AND SIGNED BY PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON. IT WAS THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT. AND THE COURT FOUND THAT IT VIOLATED THE FIFTH AMENDMENT. AND THIS ‑‑ WHEREAS THE PROPOSITION 8 RULING WAS NOT ACROSS THE USUAL FIVE TO FOUR LIBERAL CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL DIVIDE IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT THAT IN THE SUPREME COURT. HOWEVER, DOMA WAS STRAIGHT DOWN THE LINE.

MARK SAUER: JUST AS KENNEDY BEING THE SUITE SWING VOTE.

THOM SENZEE: YEAH, KENNEDY BEING THE SWING VOTE. IT ALLOWS THE ‑‑ THIS RULING REQUIRES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO AFFORD SAME‑SEX COUPLES ALL OF THE SAME SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS, SURVIVORS BENEFITS, MILITARY BENEFITS, AND INTERESTINGLY THE MILITARY'S AHEAD OF THE CURVE ON THIS ONE. AND I THINK THAT THEY STAND BETTER PREPARED TO BEGIN SHARING BENEFITS WITH THEIR SAME‑SEX MARRIED COUPLE MILITARY FAMILIES.

JOANNE FARYON: WHAT HAPPEN FZ YOU'RE IN A STATE THAT DOESN'T ALLOW SAME‑SEX MARRIAGE? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR FEDERAL BENEFITS?

THOM SENZEE: LET ME ANSWER IT THIS WAY. LET'S SAY YOU'RE IN MS. SPY MISSISSIPPI AND GO TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE THERE, YOUR TREATED AS ANY OTHER COUPLE WOULD BE. IF YOU'RE IN A HOSPITAL AND THE FAMILY DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE YOUR HUSBAND F YOU'RE A GAY MAN WITH A HUSBAND, THE WAY I UNDERSTAND IT, THAT MEANS THAT THAT FAMILY CAN PREVENT YOU FROM SEEING ALTHOUGH THAT MIGHT VIOLATE HIPA. I'M NOT AN ATTORNEY, BUT I'M PRETTY SURE THAT'S THE CASE. THE STATE IS NOT REQUIRED TO AFFORD YOU STATE RIGHTS AND THAT'S STILL OUR CHALLENGE THERE'S MUCH WORK TO BE DONE.

SUSAN WHITE: CAN'T YOU SEE A LOT OF COURT CASES ARISING FROM THIS IN THOSE STATES. I CAN SEE A LOT OF SMALLER CASES BECAUSE SAY YOUR IN CALIFORNIA, YOU'RE MARRIED AND HAVE EVERYTHING, YOU GO TO ONE OF THESE OTHER STATES AND YOU'RE STUCK IN A HOSPITAL. AND YOU CAN'T HAVE ACCESS. THEN IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU HAVE A COURT CASE THAT MIGHT SET PRESES PRECEDENT IN THAT STATE.

THOM SENZEE: I THINK IT SETS UP A SITUATION.

MARK SAUER: THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF LEGAL CHALLENGES. LET'S TALK ABOUT THE CULTURAL SHIFT ON SAME‑SEX MARRIAGE, DEFENSE ON MARRIAGE ACT PASSED BY A BIG BIPARTISAN VOTE, AND SIGNED BY A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SAYS HE REGRETS IT, AND PROP 8 YEARS AFTER THAT. WHAT'S HAPPENED SINCE THEN? WHAT'S THE MOOD OF THE NATION AND IN THE STATE?

THOM SENZEE: I CAN CONFIDENTLY TELL YOU PROPOSITION 8 WOULD NOT PASS. USC AND L.A. TIMES DID A POLL A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, AND THAT POLL REVEALED THAT ONLY 32% OF CALIFORNIANS OPPOSED SAME‑SEX MARRIAGE. NATIONALLY, 51% OF THE U.S. POPULATION OF VOTING AGE SUPPORTS EQUAL ‑‑

MARK SAUER: SO IT'S REACH AD TIPPING POINT.

THOM SENZEE: WE HAVE. I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S A GENERATIONAL THING ALONE. I THINK THERE HAS BEEN AS YOU SAID, MARK, A CULTURAL SHIFT. I THINK MORE PEOPLE HAVE COME OUT OF THE CLOSET, I THINK PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EXPOSED THANKS TO THE GOOD WORK OF ORGANIZATIONS LIKE HRC AND GLAD HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO MORE POSITIVE LGBT ROLE MODELS IN THE MEDIA.

MARK SAUER: WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE ON THESE HISTORIC RULINGS AND TURN TO ANOTHER ISSUE IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK IN FEBRUARY SAN DIEGO HOSPICE FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY. THAT WAS IN THE WAKE OF A TWO‑YEAR FEDERAL INVESTIGATION. THE ALLEGATION IS THAT THE FACILITY LONG ACCEPTED AND BILLED MEDICARE FOR PATIENTS WHO WERE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR CARE. THE NEWS THIS WEEK IS THAT THE FEDS WANT THEIR MONEY BACK, AND FEDERAL PROSECUTORS ARE ALSO LOOKING AT CRIMINAL CHARGES.

JOANNE FARYON, YOU SPENT MONTHS RESEARCHING AND INVESTIGATING THIS STORY. TELL US WHAT'S HAPPENING AND REMIND US WHAT'S GOING ON.

JOANNE FARYON: WE FINALLY GOT A NUMBER, AND THAT'S SORT OF WHAT'S BEEN IN THE NEWS RECENTLY. A LOT OF THE REPORTING IN PAST MONTHS HAS REALLY BEEN ABOUT THIS AUDIT. THE AUDIT WAS NEVER RELEASED. WE GET A NUMBER FILED IN COURT DOCUMENTS THAT BASICALLY SAID THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BELIEVES IT'S OWED 112 MILLION‑DOLLARS FOR INELIGIBLE PATIENTS AND ONLY LOOKED AT TWO YEARS, 2009, AND 2010. SAN DIEGO HOSPICE WAS ABOUT BETWEEN AN 80 AND 90 MILLION‑DOLLAR BUSINESS, MOST OF THEIR MONEY COMES FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. QUICK MATH, ABOUT HALF YOUR PATIENTS WEREN'T ELIGIBLE.

MARK SAUER: HOW LIKELY IS IT THE FEDS Y OR ANYBODY ELSE ‑‑ THEY'RE NOT THE ONLY ONES IN LINE.

JOANNE FARYON: NOT LIKELY. LET'S PUT SOME CONTEXT. THE REMAINING ASSETS FOR SAN DIEGO HOSPICE IS REALLY 60 MILLION‑DOLLARS. IT'S THEIR BUILDING THEY HAVE SOLD TO SCRIPPS. 16 MILLION‑DOLLARS RIGHT NOW TO BE DIVIDED AMONG HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS. YOU'VE GOT FORMER EMPLOYEE WHOSE SAY WE WEREN'T GIVEN NOTICE, WE WANT 60 DAYS NOTICE, PAY CHECKS. YOU'VE GOT BANKS, HEALTH CARE COMPANIES AND ATTORNEYS. THEY'RE FIRST IN LINE, TO COLLECT THEIR MONEY. SO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS IN THAT LINE UP AS WELL. I SPOKE WITH SOME OF THE ATTORNEYS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE. THEY BELIEVE THEY'LL GET SOME OF THE MONEY BUT OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW, 112 MILLION YOUR NOT GOING TO SEE VERY MUCH OF.

MARK SAUER: WHAT'S THE PROCESS NOW? WHO GETS WHAT?

JOANNE FARYON: IT'S REALLY COMPLICATED BANKRUPTCY LAW AND THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE COURTS RIGHT NOW. RN IT'S A A TIERED SYSTEM, ARE YOU SECURED CREDITOR, UNSECURED, THERE'S A COMMITTEE. I WAS IN BANKRUPTCY COURT EARLIER WHEN A HOT OF THIS WAS BEING TALKED ABOUT, THERE'S ANOTHER HEARING IN AUGUST. IT'S NOT LIKELY ANYBODY'S GOING TO SEE ANY MONEY FROM THIS UNTIL NEXT YEAR.

THOM SENZEE: AREN'T THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BACK PAID TOPS OF THIS LIST?

JOANNE FARYON: I DON'T KNOW, THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS BEING DEBATED, WHO'S IN LINE FIRST, WHAT'S THE ORDER.

THOM SENZEE: I'M GUESSING THESE ARE HEALTH CARE WORKERS, WORKING CLASS PEOPLE WHO NEED THEIR PAY CHECKS.

JOANNE FARYON: WHAT THE ISSUE IS THE DATE WHEN THE SAN DIEGO HOSPICE DECIDED TO BASICALLY CLOSE ITS DOORS AND THE DATE THAT THESE EMPLOYEES WERE BEING TOLD THAT THEY WERE LOSING THEIR JOBS, DID THEY DWET THAT 60 DAY FLOAT OWS BECAUSE OF THE LAW. DID YOU HAVE THIS NOTICE. THAT'S GOING TO PLAY ITSELF OUT AS WELL IN THIS PROCESS. I THINK THE REAL BIG ISSUE HERE, THIS ISN'T JUST A SAN DIEGO ISSUE. SAN DIEGO HOSPICE WAS THE LARGEST IN CALIFORNIA, ONE OF THE OLD OLDEST IN THE COUNTRY, AND ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN LOOKING AT HOSPITAL CARE ACROSS HOSPICE CARE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. A HOSPICE IN DELAWARE BEING LOOKED AT, ONE IN ARIZONA THAT ACTUALLY SETTLED WITH MEDICARE. TWO INTRODUCED IN BANKRUPTCY DOCUMENTS IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE IDEA THEY'RE ALSO LOOKING AT CRIMINAL CHARGES. THIS IS ALSO THE BIG THING THAT WE'RE HEARING ABOUT. THEY'RE SUING CIVILLY, THEY WANT THEIR 112 MILLION. BUT THERE'S ALSO A CRIMINAL ELEMENT.

THOM SENZEE: IS IT FRAUD?

JOANNE FARYON: IT WOULD BE UNDER THE HEALTH CARE ACT, YES.

SUSAN WHITE: THE QUESTION THAT I'VE ALWAYS HAD WAS THIS DONE BECAUSE OF AN EXCESS OF COMPASSION OR WAS IT DONE BECAUSE OF GREED?

MARK SAUER: HOW DID THEY GET INTO THIS SITUATION OF HAVING AS MANY AS HALF THE PATIENTS NOT ELIGIBLE.

JOANNE FARYON: I THINK A LOT OF THINGS WERE GOING ON AT THE SAME TIME. THEY WANTED TO DO THE RIGHT THING. WE SPOKE TO EMPLOYEES WHO WE DID PROTECT THEIR IDENTITIES BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID OF CRIMINAL CHARGES WHO DID SAY LOOK, WE WANTED TO SAY YES, AND NOT KNOW AND WE ALWAYS TRIED TO FIND A WAY TO SE SAY YES. WE SAW THEIR NUMBERS GROW, TOO. THEY WERE CARING FOR A THOUSAND PATIENTS AT A TIME. YOU MIGHT HAVE OTHER SO‑CALLED LARGE HOSPICES CARING FOR 200. THEY WERE COLLECTING A LOT OF MONEY FROM MEDICARE.

THOM SENZEE: I THINK YOU REPORTED THEY ALSO HAD A UM A LOT OF INCIDENCE OF PATIENTS BEING RELEASED GOING BACK HOME. I GUESS IN SOME CASES TO OTHER HOSPICES, AFTER SIX MONTHS IN CARE WERE DISCHARGED WHICH ISN'T THE WAY WE THINK OF AS HOSPICE IS.

JOANNE FARYON: ONCE THE FEDS WERE ON THEIR BACK, THEY STARTED RELEASING ‑‑ THEY WENT THROUGH THEIR BOOKS AND STARTED RELEASING HOSPICE PATIENTS THAT DIDN'T QUITE FIT THE STRICT DEFINITION. THEY STARTED RELEASING THEM. WE ACTUALLY FOUND, UM, ONE COUPLE A WOMAN WHO HAD ALZHEIMER'S, SHE WAS UNDER SAN DIEGO HOSPICE CARE FOR SIX YEARS.

MARK SAUER: SIX YEARS? SO WHAT'S THE DEFINITION.

JOANNE FARYON: SIX MONTHS IS THE DEFINITION. MEDICARE'S DEFINITION IS IF YOU HAVE A TERMINAL ILLNESS AND ARE LIKELY TO DIE WITHIN SIX MONTH FZ YOUR ILLNESS CONTINUES ON THE SAME PROGRESSION, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE. WHAT'S HAPPENING IS THAT DEFINITION WAS FORMED WHEN PEOPLE WERE WITH CANCER, USING HOSPICE CARE. YOU CAN DIAGNOSE WHEN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE WITH CANCER.

MARK SAUER: BUT THERE'S NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE AND ART.

JOANNE FARYON: WHAT WE'RE SEEING NOW IS PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S, PEOPLE WITH DEBUILT AND DECLINE, OLD AGE. THEY'RE NOW CHOOSING HOSPICE IN GREATER NUMBERS AND IT'S MUCH MORE PREDICTABLE TO PREDICT WHEN THOSE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE.

SUSAN WHITE: IS IT MAYBE THAT THEY SHOULD CHANGE THE DEFINITION? HOSPICE IS WAY CHEAPER THAN PUTTING PEOPLE IN HOSPITALS OR INTENSE INTENSIVE NURSING SITUATIONS. MAYBE IT WILL TURN OUT THEY WERE TRY DOING THE RIGHT THING. THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED.

JOANNE FARYON: I THINK WE'RE HEARING A LOT FROM PEOPLE NOT JUST IN THIS CITY, SAN DIEGO HOSPICE, BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY SUGGESTING THAT VERY THING.

THOM SENZEE: WOULD ANY OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE IMPROVEMENT OF TREAT EXPMENT CARE? ARE LIVES BEING EXTENDED WITH TERMINAL ILLNESSES?

JOANNE FARYON: THAT'S EXACTLY PART OF THIS. THERE WAS A STUDY DONE A FEW YEARS BACK THAT'S SAYING THAT WHEN PEOPLE GET HOSPICE CARE ‑‑ WHICH BASICALLY WHAT THAT IS, A NURSE COMES TO YOUR HOUSE, MAKES SURE YOU'RE TAKING MEDICATION, MAKE SURE YOU'RE EATING RIGHT, THAT YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED. SO THAT KIND OF HUMAN CONTACT ‑‑ THAT KIND OF CARE CAN EXTEND LIFE. THIS IS IN THE RESEARCH LITERATURE THAT YES, WHEN YOU'RE GETTING THAT KIND OF CARE, IT'S POSSIBLE THAT YOU'RE LIVING LONGER.

MARK SAUER: JOANNE, YOU SPOKE WITH A BOARD MEMBER OF THE SAN DIEGO HOSPICE, WHAT DO THEY KNOW ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON?

JOANNE FARYON: I THINK THAT MIGHT BE A GENEROUS DESCRIPTION. I TRIED TO SPEAK TO THE BOARD MEMBER. IT WAS REALLY SAD TO BE IN BANKRUPTCY COURT AND SEE THE CEO, BOARD MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES. THIS WAS A REALLY BIG INSTITUTION IN THIS CITY. AND UM SO I DID ASK HIM FOR AN INTERVIEW, HE DIDN'T WANT TO. YOU KNOW Y SAID LOOK, OUR AUDIENCE HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY. YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAVE THIS GREAT SUPPORT FROM SAN DIEGO IN TERMS OF WHAT HOSPICE IS DOING. AND HE WAS CLEARLY UPSET AND JUST SAID YOU KNOW, WE'RE JUST GOING TO TAKE THIS AS IT COMES. HE DID INDICATE THAT THE SORT OF CRIMINAL POSSIBLE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DID COME AS A SURPRISE.

THOM SENZEE: IS THERE A BAD GUY IN THIS? IS THERE AN INDIVIDUAL?

JOANNE FARYON: YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW.

MARK SAUER: IT MAY BE TOO SOON TO TELL, HUH?

JOANNE FARYON: EXACTLY. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE DON'T KNOW. WE DON'T KNOW WHY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS LOOK NOTHING TO THIS POSSIBLE CRIMINAL ELEMENT. I THINK THERE'S WE'VE GOT TO LOOK AT THE SYSTEM. AND ALSO I THINK WHEN YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE ON A MISSION TO DO GOOD AND THEY REALLY BELIEVE IN IT, SOMETIMES IS IT MISGUIDED OR SOMETIMES MAYBE YOU NEED SOME CHECKS AND BALANCES ‑‑ I I DON'T KNOW CAN THE ANSWER TO THAT.

MARK SAUER: WHAT'S NEXT IN THESE PRECEDINGS?

JOANNE FARYON: MORE COURT HEARINGS, IN TERMS OF WHO'S GOING TO GET THEIR MONEY, AND ONE ATTORNEY TOLD ME NO ONE WILL SEE ANY MONEY UNTIL SOME TIME NEXT YEAR.

MARK SAUER: WE'LL HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE ON THE THE HOSPICE STORY. WE TURN NOW TO AN ISSUE THAT TEU TRULY HAS GLOBAL REACH BUT ONE WITH A SPECIAL IMPACT HERE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY. A NEW REPORT ISSUED BY MILITARY PLANNERS AND ANALYSTS FROM THE U.S. AND GREAT GREAT BRITAIN STATES BLUNTLY ‑‑ REPORT BUTTRESSES PRESIDENT OBAMA'S INITIATIVE TO CUT EMISSION FROM COAL POWER PLANTS.

SUSAN WHITE, YOU PUBLISHED THAT STORY THIS WEEK INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS. WHATS RR OUR BASIC TAKE AWAY ON THIS REPORT IN THE STORY IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK IS THAT OIL AND GAS ARE FINITE AND EVEN THOUGH WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A HUGE OIL AND GAS BOOM IN THIS COUNTRY, IT'S AMAZING THE AMOUNT OF RESERVES WE HAVE BECAUSE OF NEW DRILLING TECHNIQUES. HOWEVER, IT ALL GOES AWAY EVENTUALLY AND IF YOU'RE THE MILITARY YOU HAVE TO LOOK LONG RANGE. YOU'RE NOT LOOKING AT THIS GENERATION AND THE NEXT GENERATION. AND IT'S TO ME IT REMINDS ‑‑ I DON'T KNOW IF YOU ALL SAW THE DUST BOWL SERIES KEN BURNS ‑‑

MARK SAUER: I DID A SEE A LITTLE BIT OF THAT.

SUSAN WHITE: WHICH IS JUST ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. WELL, YOU SAW PEOPLE PILLAGING THE EARTH. ALL THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE DID TO THE SOIL AT THAT TIME CULMINATED IN ‑‑ IT WAS A MAN‑MADE DISASTER.

MARK SAUER: UH‑HUH.

SUSAN WHITE: AND SO TO, TO ME, IT SEEMS AS IF WE'RE ACTING AS THOUGH ‑‑ AND IT WAS THE IDEA THE THAT IF THIS LAND WAS USED UP, WE COULD MOVE ON AND GET MORE LAND. WELL, THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN. IF WE'RE THINKING ABOUT ‑‑

MARK SAUER: TH IF THE PLANET'S USED UP WE'RE NOT GOING TO ‑‑

SUSAN WHITE: THERE'S NOWHERE TO GO. YOU HAVE TO HAVE WATER TO DRINK, AND AIR THAT IS RELATIVELY CLEAN TO BREATHE. AND SO THE CLIMATE CHANGE QUESTION I THINK IS THE BIG QUESTION OF OUR TIME. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THIS BEFORE. EVERYTHING ELSE PAILS. YOU CAN PAILS. YOU CAN CAN HAVE GREAT RIGHTS, DOMA CAN BE DISSOLVED BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE A PLAN TOOT LIVE ON ‑‑

THOM SENZEE: THERE'S MOW WR TO ENJOY THOSE RIGHTS.

MARK SAUER: THE AUTHORS OF THIS REPORT IN YOUR STORY, THEY CITE THIS FIXATION OF AMERICA FOR BM CANNING ENERGY INDEPENDENT AND THEY SAY THAT'S MISGUIDED. WHAT DO THEY MEAN?

SUSAN WHITE: THEY MEAN JUST WHAT I SAID. YOU CAN DRILL YOUR WAY OUT, BUT YOU CAN'T DRILL YOUR WAY INTO THE FUTURE. AND WHILE THEY'RE DRILLING, THEY'RE MAKING THE CLIMATE ‑‑ THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVE FASTER BECAUSE THEY'RE ADDING MORE CARBON TO THE AIR. TO ME, WHAT WAS INTERESTING IS THIS STUDY WAS NOT DONE BY LEFTY LIBERAL TREE HUGGERS. THIS STUDY WAS DONE BY THE U.S. NAVY ‑‑ U.S. NAVAL ORGANIZATION AND A BRITISH ORGANIZATION. THE REPORTER WHO WROTE THIS, JACK CUSHMAN AND I ARE BOTH ARMY BRATS. HE'S BASED IN WASHINGTON BUT TO US, YOU KNOW, THE FACT THAT GENERALS ARE SAYING THIS AND THE BEST QUOTE I MARKED THIS BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT REALLY SAID IT AND ESPECIALLY TO JACK ‑‑ AND THIS IS RETIRED GENERAL ‑‑ RETIRED AIR FORCE GENERAL CHARLES WALD, AND HE WAS DEPUTY COMMANDER OF THE U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND, BIG GUY, HE'S NOT A LEFTY LIBERAL TREE HUGGER. HIS QUOTE IS ‑‑

THOM SENZEE: NOTHING AGAINST LEFTY LIBERAL ‑‑

SUSAN WHITE: NO, THAT'S NOTHING. BUT I THINK THAT'S WHAT'S REMARKABLE ABOUT THAT.

THOM SENZEE: IT'S A MILITARY GUY.

SUSAN WHITE: AND IT'S NOT COMING FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP. HE SAID THE BIGGEST THING WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW NOW TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS NATIONAL SECURITY EFFECTS WOULD BE TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF CARBON WE PUMP INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. THE BIGGEST THING WE CAN DO ABOUT THAT WOULD BE TO HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY POLICY THAT ADDRESSES NOT ONLY THE AMOUNT AND DIVERSITY OF OUR ENERGY BUT HOW CLEAN IT IS AND WE HAVE NO NATIONAL POLICY NOW.

MARK SAUER: THAT RAISES A REALLY INTERESTING POLITICAL ISSUE BECAUSE CONSERVATIVES IN CONGRESS TEND TO BE BIG SUPPORTERS OF THE MILITARY, MANY BASES IN CONSERVATIVE DISTRICTS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, IN CALIFORNIA OF COURSE. AS PRESIDENT OBAMA STARTED TALKING ABOUT THIS WEEK WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A DEBATE OF THE FLAT EARTH SOCIETY, THEY'RE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISSUE ON THIS.

SUSAN WHITE: IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE EITHER. I READ JUST BEFORE I CAME A A COLUMN THAT WAS WRITTEN BY A CONSERVATIVE. HE WAS SAYING THE WAY TO COMBAT OBAMA'S PLANS IS FOR CONSERVATIVES ‑‑ IT WAS REALLY A BREAKTHROUGH ‑‑ TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING, IT CAN'T BE DENIED ANY LONGER.

THOM SENZEE: SO HIS ‑‑

SUSAN WHITE: HE WAS SAYING THAT WHICH I THOUGHT WAS A REALLY KEATION.

THOM SENZEE: SO YOU'RE SAYING THAT THE ‑‑ THE BEST ‑‑ FOR THESE CONSERVATIVES WHO ARE GLOBAL WARMING DENIERS, THE BEST WAY FOR THEM TO COMBAT OBAMA IS TO ACCEPT THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL?

SUSAN WHITE: YES, ACCEPT THAT IT'S REAL.

THOM SENZEE: AND WORK WITHIN THAT REGIME?

SUSAN WHITE: YES, AND MAKE SURE THAT THE SOLUTIONS ‑‑

THOM SENZEE: I THINK THAT'S PROGRESS.

SUSAN WHITE: I THINK THAT'S HUGE PROGRESS TO BE TOO ME BECAUSE WE CAN'T HAVE PEOPLE ‑‑ YOU KNOW, WE'RE PARALYZED. AS WE WERE TALKING BEFORE THIS, WE DID ‑‑ MY ORGANIZATION, WHICH SAN ONLINE WEBSITE ‑‑ WE DID A BOOK LAST YEAR ON GERMANY'S ENERGY VENDA, WHICH IS GERMANY'S ENERGY REVOLUTION, AND THEY HAVE DONE MIRACULOUS THINGS. THEY ARE HEADING TOWARD A CARBON FREE AND NUCLEAR FREE FUTURE. AND THEY'VE ALREADY STARTED DOWN THIS PATH, THEY STARTED IN THE 70S. BUT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, WE DON'T HAVE COMMON WILL. AND SO WE HAVE THE PRESIDENT STANDING UP AND SAYING HERE ARE ALL THE THINGS I CAN DO WITHOUT CONGRESS.

MARK SAUER: BUT WE NEED ACTION BY CONGRESS.

SUSAN WHITE: BUT WE NEED BOTH.

MARK SAUER: AND IN THE MILITARY ANALYST REPORT, THEY'RE SAYING THAT'S THE ONLY SUSTAINABLE WAY ‑‑

SUSAN WHITE: YEAH, HAVE A PLAN.

MARK SAUER: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC THINGS THAT THEY'RE WARNING ABOUT IN TERMS OF THREATS, IN TERMS OF NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS HERE?

THOM SENZEE: UH‑HUH.

MARK SAUER: AS CLIMATE CHANGE GETS WORSE.

SUSAN WHITE: IF YOU THINK POOR COUNTRIES WHERE THERE'S DROUGHT, AND THEY CAN'T RAISE THEIR CROPS ARE THEY FAMINED? THERE COULD BE FLOODING IN SOME AREAS AND DROUGHT AND OTHERS. THERE IS A SITUATION THAT INTERESTS ME BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN AND THERE IS A REAL DEBATE OVER THE WATER OF THE INDUS RIVER THERE. IF YOU HAVE CLIMATE CHANGE AND THAT WATER DRIES UP THAT'S A PLACE SOME PEOPLE HAVE TARGETED AS A POTENTIAL WAR SITE ANYWAY BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO HAVE WATER.

MARK SAUER: YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT DESPERATE PEOPLE GETTING DISPLACED DOING WHAT THEY CAN FOR FOOD AND WATER, BASING ISSUES OF SURVIVAL.

SUSAN WHITE: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS ALWAYS INTERESTED ME, IS RIGHT NOW WE'RE TRYING TO GET AS MUCH FOSSIL FUEL AS WE CAN. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE SHORTAGE IS IN WATER AND THE DEBATE IS OVER HOW MUCH WATER DO WE HAVE? EVEN IN OUR COUNTRY THAT'S GOING TO BE A SCARY THING BECAUSE YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT YOUR CAR, YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT YOUR HEAT. YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT WATER.

MARK SAUER: WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT RIGHT THERE. FASCINATING DISCUSSION. THAT WRAPS UP ANOTHER WEEK OF THE STORIES ON THE KPBS ROUND TABLE. I'D LIKE TO THANK MY GUESTS THOM SENZEE, JOANNE FARYON, AND SUSAN WHITE. A REMINDER, ALL OF TODAY'S STORIES ARE AVAILABLE ON KPBS.ORG. I'M MARK SAUER SENIOR NEWS EDITOR KPBS. THANKS FOR JOINING US ON THE KPBS ROUNDTABLE.