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MPTF: Bob Pisano, Another Wealthy Apologist Heard From

Bob seems deliberate in his attempts to identify the most frail, the most handicapped and needy and choosing only them for extinction from the beautiful 40-acre campus.

In another fumbled attempt to play "Hot Potato" with the actual lives of our sick and old people, the Motion Picture Television Fund in their infinite wisdom has christened a new apologist. Handing the microphone to Bob Pisano in a futile attempt to explain the echo of the all but bankrupt ideology of Successful Aging, we are now witness to yet another wealthy evangelist who is attempting to proselytize to the great unwashed – those who cannot and will never be able to afford the luxury of in-home care for their aging parents and loved ones.

As the new Chairman of the Board of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, Bob is thumping a bible of ill-repute while attempting to rewrite history. Referring to the Fund’s intentions to close the Nursing Home and Hospital, Bob effused: “The mission of ‘taking care of our own’ hasn’t changed since 1921, but how we go about it has evolved.”

Evolved? Try mutated. The cancer that is attempting to eviscerate long-term care is exhuming the corpses of Chaplin and Pickford and re-engineering the compassionate message that they authored. The lesion that mutated from the DNA of Mssrs. Tilman and Ellis is being allowed to spread, this time to the entire campus at the Motion Picture Home.

Bob is now the cheerleader that will lead a "Gimme an F!" to the future of all the residents, and I mean all residents. Every soul residing on the Motion Picture Home campus is a slip and fall away from needing long term and 24-hour skilled-nursing care. A middle of the night stumble while taking a pee can be the event that results in a ride to oblivion. The route to long term care hell starts with a left on Mulholland — the blare of sirens and the wash of red lights accompanying your soul like a disco grim reaper.

Bob is championing a paradigm that aims to not provide a nursing home for our Industry’s most sick, handicapped and elderly for the firrst time in 70 years since the Fund was founded.

Bob is supporting the dismantling of the most magnificent example of elder care in the state of California, perhaps the country.

Bob seems deliberate in his attempts to identify the most frail, the most handicapped and needy on the Motion Picture Fund Campus, and choosing only them for extinction from the beautiful 40-acre campus.

You've got a lot to answer for, Bob. Somehow, when you tell everyone that the nursing home is losing money (which most people don't believe anyway) you probably forget to mention that by deliberately choosing to keep the nursing home's beds empty, by not "taking care of our own" you are causing the Fund to now give up over $16 million dollars annually.

You make it sound, Bob, like the home is filled with a bunch of freeloaders and the Fund is giving them a free ride. Forget the fact that it's supposed to be a charity, the reality is, and you correct me if I'm wrong here Bob, the Motion Picture and Television Fund receives $11,300 per month for each resident at the nursing home. This money comes from private pay residents who pay from their own pockets, as well as residents social security and MediCal.  Fact is, the MPTF receives the highest MediCal reimbursement rate per resident paid by the state of California for this kind of care.  As a matter of fact Bob, the monthly rate went up from $10,500 to $11,300 this past July.

Allow me to do the math for you, Bob: If you fill the beds with old people/human beings who need care instead of deliberately locking them out, the Fund would receive about $25 million annually to take care of a full house of 189 residents.

A few more things to mention at the Night Before parties, Bob. Tell the crowd that the Fund additionally receives separate reimbursements for medical tests and prescriptions. As you down those little lamb chops, you might mention that the Fund owns the nursing home building outright and the land the nursing home sits on, and has charitable tax status. Don't forget the annuity and the donations.

Hopefully someone will respond with “How is it possible that the most upscale private nursing home in our area with a long term care facility charges a fraction of the $11,300 you receive and they are not closing, and unlike the Fund, they have to spend a fortune buying land, constructing buildings and paying taxes?” Stifle a burp and think of what you are shilling. There are nursing homes faced with the same challenges that do not have the power of the entertainment industry behind them, and are not planning to throw anybody out.

The Motion Picture Fund set an example for the state and the country when it opened the nursing home and hospital decades ago. It was a proud moment for everyone in our Industry. By closing it, Bob, you are again setting an example, this time telling the state and the country, there is no need to have nursing homes to care for old people. Well then, where would old people who need care and can't live at home go? This probably won't effect you and your family, or the other millionaires, multi-millionares, and billionaires who compose the Board and Fund leadership.

At the upcoming "The Night Before" party for the Academy Awards, I hope all donors say to you, "Here's my donation Bob, but it's only good if you re-open the doors to the Motion Picture Fund’s Nursing Home for the old people in our Industry who need care, and who can't live at home or have no home."

I promise you’ll be able to sleep better. And if you do stumble in the middle of the night, we can all be sure you’ll be wonderfully taken care of in the same manner of my mother and the remaining nursing home residents, in a facility that will embrace and mind you for the rest of your life.

Editor's note: This blog has been revised to correct figures that were initially cited.

Winner of the Los Angeles Press Club's best blog award and a Southern California Journalism Award for his HollyBlogs, as well as an award for the Facebook group that helped to muscle the salvation of long-term care for the motion picture and television industry, Stellar's "vituperative blog on TheWrap" (Vanity Fair) focuses on issues related to the motion picture and entertainment industry. Stellar is founder of The Man/Kind Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to fight religious and cultural intolerance through the arts while building bridges of tolerance for all people. Stellar lives in Woodland Hills, California, with his wife of over 30 years, Nuala, and much too much Beatles memorabilia.