Obamacare: The Final Payment–Raiding the Assets of Low-Income and Poor Americans

Posted by gonzo309 6 years, 8 months ago to Politics
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Medicaid is a financial trap. Be aware of what you're getting into. I don't have the answers, just passing on the info.
SOURCE URL: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/02/08/obamacare-final-payment-raiding-assets-low-income-poor-americans/


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  • Posted by fivedollargold 6 years, 8 months ago
    I must admit, I've given this law a lot of thought and missed this angle. I continue to marvel at the devious minds that wrote this monstrosity of a law. By any chance, is this law 666 X 3 pages long?
    (3 = Center for American Progress, Demos, and Dr. Emmanuel)
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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 6 years, 8 months ago
    Looks like the Feds are going to make sure they get back that "40 acres and a mule" from anyone that got it and thereby insure that their airs do not inherit. This will ensure dependency and make sure they stay "on the plantation"
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
    B/c of my wife's work in estate planning, I've been aware of this coming long before PPACA. They have been working on making it harder to get on Medical Assistance since at least 2006. It was easier to get on it then than now, but even then my wife was amazed at how indignant people were about it being hard to get. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits, sometimes nearly $100k a year, is seen as a birthright. I find this surprising because "welfare" has become a general epithet, as in "that program is nothing but welfare!" MA accounts for 50% of the original Welfare programs, and people think it's a birthright.

    My wife claims many attorneys make a good practice helping people work the system so that their parents with net worths in the $200k range can somehow divest their money, claim poverty, and get on the program. My wife won't do it a) for moral reasons and b) because the gov't is increasingly going after Welfare fraud and questionable divestment.
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  • Posted by $ CBJ 6 years, 8 months ago
    In 2012, Obama won 60 percent of the vote of those making less than $50,000 per year. Obama would have lost the election without the support of this income group. When these Obama supporters eventually realize the consequences of their voting behavior, hopefully many of them will think twice before voting another "progressive" into office. Experience is the best teacher.
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  • Posted by $ EloiseH 6 years, 8 months ago
    Sadly this is all true. In the past, some individuals who had enough assets, deliberately impoverished themselves (gifting to children, etc.) in order to qualify for gov't paid long term care, Originally the estate recovery was intended to discourage this practice. But now it has just become another cash cow for gov't spending funded by those who have the least financial ability to fight it. As desperately as the gov't needs money to fund impossible promises, I hold no hope this will be corrected. As far as politicians are concerned, these victims are not the folks who are contributing to their campaign coffers so what do they care? Meanwhile they keep mouthing platitudes about how awful it is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer - and they pass laws to guarantee this will continue to be the case - so they can justify still more confiscatory taxation. Does anyone see any end in sight?
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
      Part of the promises are the MA payments. I don't get the cash cow thing. They only recover monies that were paid out in Welfare (not in the slang sense, but in the actual program, 50% of which is MA). It's hard to see not giving a handout as a cash cow.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
    This estate recovery is huge and will continue to be a big issue. People with hundreds of thousands of dollars of net worth want to find a way to get on Welfare, and the gov't is a making it harder and harder.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 8 months ago
      Great way to treat the elderly who work all their lives, pay a fortune in social security and medical payments taxes, barely save enough to eat and see a movie on occasion, and are forced to retire by legal age discrimination. Pay them retirement pay, then tax it, and pick their pockets when they get sick.
      They can't even revolt against these DC terrorists.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
        I'm currently dealing with this issue with a parent.

        I just want to clarify, b/c I may me misunderstanding, that you think it's mistreating the elderly if we make it hard for them to get on Welfare.

        In my case, my mother-in-law, has a net worth in the $180k range. She gave our kids a few thousands dollars over the past few years. If she runs out of money and wants to apply for Medical Assistance, depending on when that happens, we may have to return those gifts to our kids for her application to be accepted. If you think this is abusive to the elderly, you must think Medical Assistance is a right, even for people who are poor after giving away their wealth. I'm probably missing something.
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        • Posted by $ stargeezer 6 years, 8 months ago
          Go see a lawyer. This can be overcome with good fiscal planning. She will be forced to spend-down a certain amount of her money, in fact the lions share will be given to a nursing home or hospital, but some of it can be saved if you act today. If it goes bad for her (sorry, I don't know how to better express this) in less than a year, they and the government will get it all. Don't delay.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
            I appreciate your kind intent, but I reject all the language you're using.

            We are working with an attorney, and my wife is attorney working in this area. When you say money can be **saved** you mean she can get on Welfare even though she has money. She doesn't want to use Welfare unless she really needs it.

            We're going to set up a trust to pay the property taxes on her house, and get on MA. The trust will have to pay back every dollar of MA given to her, to the extent she has the money. She's only doing that to fund the upkeep on the house while we sell it or for the unlikely case she recovers enough to live there. She does not want to find a trick not to pay back the MA monies. She does not want to be on Welfare unless she lives long enough to use up all her money.

            Her money will not be **given** to a nursing home or hospital. She will only pay them for services they actually provided. She will not be **forced** to spend down her money. She's spending it on a place that's located 3 miles from my wife and me.

            She is on hospice and has a right to large doses of morphine, which would probably end her life, but instead she wants to spend her money and see if things improve enough to make it worthwhile. So far she's doing it all with money she and her husband saved from working on a Rubbermaid assembly line and a used car lot. It amazes me how much they save even though most years they were barely above the poverty line.
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            • Posted by $ stargeezer 6 years, 8 months ago
              No you misunderstood me. What I was saying was that the wealth she and her husband had worked for could be protected from seizure by the government and passed to her heirs as she would undoubtedly wish.

              Utilizing the law is not a "trick" any more than paying real estate taxes and deducting that is a trick. I didn't say one word about welfare - that's your phrase, not mine.

              Sorry I tried to help. Best wishes to her and you.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
                "Trick" was a poor choice of words. I certainly take every gov't benefit I'm legally entitled to. If you want to explain, I'd be interested in what you meant by saved, forced, and given. I only use the word Welfare b/c I thought MA was the unspoken source of funds you were referring to. I honestly have no idea who you were suggesting pay for my mohter-in-law's care.

                So many people misuse those words. "I was forced to sign up for a car lease, and now I'm giving money to car dealer." "PPACA increased taxes but saves huge amounts of money." It's almost like they're losing their meaning in everyday use.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
                Sorry. I thought you were saying to get MA to pay for her care even though she has her own small bit of wealth. I am amazed at how many people who have some wealth angle to get MA.

                In her case, the gov't isn't seizing anything. She's spending her money on something she says she wants. I'm amazed at how many people think if it's something medical, someone else should pay for it. PPACA, which I think does more good than harm, will make this problem worse.
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                • Posted by $ stargeezer 6 years, 8 months ago
                  What i was trying to explain was there are ways for her to gift presents and such to her children and grandchildren in a effort to make sure that in the end all the wealth that was accumulated does not go into the IRS for recouping her medical costs if she does need to utilize public services at some point. I have seen families who had some wealth built up lose everything because the elder member became ill and the costs exceed funds they had on hand and the IRS also took their home, retirement savings and even trust funds that had been set up for grandkids. Nobody wants that. The other drains are nursing homes that can eat up 45000 a year as they feed your family member mac and cheese four days a week.

                  My mother was just moved because I discovered that they were feeding the patients what would amount to $5 of food a day. That's not right.

                  As for distributing funds to kids there are several methods and they can vary by state laws, thats why I said to check with a lawyer. I'm glad you have one.

                  We have deposit boxes in a couple banks for each of our kids. Each month or two, we buy as much Gold as the law will allow us to give them tax free and lock it away for them. When I die each kid will get the key to their boxes. The rest of my estate will be taxed by the laws then, but this much I can do NOW and since the boxes are in their names, not ours, our passing will not effect this much of my wealth.

                  There are a bunch of different strategies that are legal and safe. The old trust fund is safe, but these days who knows what the market will do. Our kids have that in place to, but like our life insurance polices they are linked to successful growth of the stock market for a good yield.

                  Best to you in this.
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                  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
                    " I have seen families who had some wealth built up lose everything because the elder member became ill and the costs exceed funds they had on hand and the IRS also took their home, retirement savings and even trust funds that had been set up for grandkids. Nobody wants that."
                    Wow. The way you word is very different from how I think of gov't assistance. I believe in MA and other gov't programs, and I wouldn't condemn anyone for using a program they're legally entitled to even if I didn't agree with the program itself.

                    So this post I'm writing is about how we think about MA, not the morality of it.

                    The scenario is someone who has modest wealth, has the options of suicide, but is choosing to get some medical services. The people providing those services do it for money. Someone has to provide it. It could be me, some other family member, the patient, or a gov't program... really anyone who has the money and wants to do it. You're saying to make sure a gov't program pays, which is reasonable if they'll do it. If they want some of that money back, it's the govt taking her home. But really the gov't lent her free money with an open-ended commitment to provide MA with the only requirement that her estate pay back whatever it can.

                    Remember, I'm talking about language, not the merits. I was took unemployment benefits while I owned a business that earned $4k-10k/mo in cash distributions to me. I disagreed with the policy, but I don't feel immoral for taking the money. Before I did I called them and wrote them to tell them I had other income.

                    I don't think there's anything immoral about MA. MA accounts for 50% of the basket of programs called "Welfare", not in the colloquial sense but the official Welfare programs. I believe in Welfare. It just blows my mind how most people who receive it see it as a right and see any of it they must repay as theft of a birthright. The thinking is the other side of the coin from "but how will you pay for these expensive tax cuts?" as if the money belonged to the gov't in the first place. If I earn it, it's MY money. If I ask for MA an SBIR grant or some other handout, I'm asking for someone else's money. Maybe it's money I paid in, but it stopped being mine when they taxed it.

                    I actually support various Welfare programs for reasons that won't fit here.

                    BTW, I've shopped nursing homes lately. Prices depend on level of car required, but we went with one that was $72,000 per year. Of ones not out in the countryside, it was cheaper than average. We didn't see any $45k options here, even far from Madison.

                    You are right that health problems in old age are a bitch no matter how you slice it. My wife and I are building a decent bit of wealth. If we need the service, we'll use nurses or Capitol Lakes on Main St, BUT no amount of services help when you feel lousy and can't get up to use the bathroom.
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  • Posted by LetsShrug 6 years, 8 months ago
    Well now I understand the push to keep people on unemployment and recruiting people to get on the snap program. Trapped indeed.
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    • Posted by $ stargeezer 6 years, 8 months ago
      This is also why everybody who signs up on Ocare that has moderate income is being shoved onto Medicaid, "for their own good". Soon the government will own all the assets and can start telling us where we will live, what we can eat, what we can drink - oh wait they already do that......
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  • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
    It just gets worse every day. How do they sneak these things through without anybody noticing or being informed by our representatives?
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    • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 8 months ago
      Because the representatives either

      (a) don't read the bills they are voting for or
      (b) pass them with full knowledge and complicity

      Traitors or incompetence.

      A cynical person might think that this was no coincidence, just as it was no coincidence that the Federal Reserve Act and the Income Tax were both passed in the same year.

      Are the citizens of the United States now only chattel for the federal debt?
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  • Posted by $ ernieg 6 years, 8 months ago
    At least with medicare we sign up for a form of insurance that we continue to pay into, now if the government would keep its hands off it should be OK.
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