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Random Notes From First Annual Clinton Health Matters Conference

Expected to become an annual Tuesday event as a kick off for the Humana Challenge, the Clinton Foundation hosted a conference on all things health and wellness. And yes, I saw the catcalls on Twitter complaining about the sheer hideousness (and it's sooo Canadian!) gathering of adults wanting to improve the lifestyles of children so that not every kid in America looks like Manny Delgado from Modern Family.

A few peanuts from the gallery:

- Bill Clinton's Bob Hope stories are superb, and hopefully we'll hear a few during the telecast in the Rich Lerner interview taped today. But Clinton touched on Hope's obsession with walking, something covered in the latest Golf Digest featuring a must-read interview by Tom Friedman.

- Clinton stated, and the speakers essentially backed up the notion, that health, wellness and the costs associated are the primary issue for America moving forward.

- Richard Gephardt should not take shots at modern day Washington politicians from his position as a lobbyist and as a man who still inspires little excitement.

- Notah Begay and Annika Sorenstam both spoke about their interests in the area of health and both not only held their own on a stage with talented speakers and an audience full of health care professionals, but represented the world of golf in high quality fashion. Both are eloquent and knowledgeable when discussing their causes. They are certainly not just lending their name to a foundation for tax purposes. These are genuine, involved and impressive individuals. Golf is lucky to have them.

- This has the potential to be a transformative event from both the sponsor perspective and the tour's point of view. Granted, Clinton is a unique presence with his Rolodex, passion and well-oiled machine of a Foundation. But I suspect that he will connect with key players this week, raise awareness for his cause and give Humana attention on a level they've never seen before. Fans interested in health will have the option to be educated and fans just wanting to see good golf will get a better experience thanks to the new format and slightly improved field.

However, any player with the luxury to make his schedule and who learns about what went on today and beyond, would not leave this event off their schedule as long as Clinton is associated. It has the feeling of something that could expand, become a hybrid golf tournament highlighting transformative causes with our struggling sport, and become recognized as an important gathering of difference-makers. But will the players follow Phil Mickelson's example and pay attention? Do they care about being part of something bigger than themselves? Stay tuned...

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Reader Comments (21)

so going forward does Notah get the benefit of being painted with a new brush? not the same old brush John Cook will continue to be painted with?
01.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterhoopty
the idea of a "hybrid " golf tournament is an excellant one!!!!!!!!!!!!!
01.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Does anyone have any insight into what kind of health insurance company Humana is? Are they something special, or are they just like all the rest of the companies that won't touch anybody that can't pay huge premiums, fight families at every turn once someone actually gets sick, and denies people of their coverage based on tiny print clauses hidden deep in their policies?

Geoff, if you say ANNIKA has her heart in this cause, I'll take your word for it. Since her retirement, I have not been impressed at all with her branding campaign and her desire to attach her name to any little thing that will pay a buck or two. I suspect being close to President Clinton will push anyone to raise their game a little bit.

Someone should ask Clinton where all the money raised by the Bush/Clinton Fund for Haiti went.
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Great. Start the golf is good for your health movement. That means smaller carry bags, less than 14 clubs, lots of walkers, and fewer carts. I'm all in. Equipment manufacturers (of clubs and carts) won't be all in.
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom T.
@Press Agent: Actually, you describe Humana pretty well. Health insurance companies make money by denying care, not paying for it. That's the nature of the beast.
How many people were in the room for these talks?
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSnails
@Ky - no doubt there is alot of money made by denying care (or "controlling costs" in their lingo), but the real big money for health insurers is signing up healthy (ie: young) people for coverage that typically have no claims. Then they apply their cost control methods to minimize the payouts on the backend when the people actually need assistance.
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
A little lunch time reading on our health care system, noted without comment:
Read Wendell Potter. "deadly spin" very smart man who worked for Cigna.
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterA3
Clinton Foundation? LOL
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWalter
Great post Ky, his story is frightening, and unfortunately very, very common.
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
So why was Dick Gephardt there?
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
"So why was Dick Gephardt there? "

To learn Yoga moves from Goldie Hawn?
01.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
Geoff what exactly did Phil do other than deciding to play again in this event that other players should follow his lead on? I'm guessing he came back for any one of the following or all of the following:

A) Tournament previously got rid of a course that he along with other player hated.
B) Tournament previously cut the event back to 4 rounds instead of 5.
C) Phil must be getting ready to announce Humana as a sponsor of his.

Sorry but I'm having a hard time finding anything that Phil did out of the ordinary here. Any articles to link to?
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
And why was Barbara Striesand there?
01.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
And why was she wearing a blue dress?
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSequimster
Anything promoting more walking will improve both golf and the health of the country (medically and financially). Get out of the cart.
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave P
What was sooo Canadian about it?
01.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBardolinks
Barbara Streisand, Donna Karan, Goldie Hawn, Nancy Snyderman all in the same room...and Deepak Chopra? the electrcity!
01.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrb
Did Notah Begay tell everyone how he injured his back by working out and lifting weights?

No Pain also can mean No Pain's all about balance and flexibility, we're not exactly running sprints out there.
01.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Repeating Bardolinks question, "What's sooo Canadian about it?"
01.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny Canuck

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