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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun May 3, 2015, 05:11 PM

19. This morning i woke up thinking about a friend of mine who lost her job some years ago

due to a leveraged buy-out and through no fault of her own. (She was an exemplary employee.) Within 7 months after losing her job, she was diagnosed with cancer. Of course, having lost her job, she had no health insurance. (Even with Obamacare, I'm not sure she is covered.) Her medications cost thousands of dollars a month. She and her husband had purchased a home years ago but still owed on the mortgage.

She got Medical, but there is something that most people do not know about Medicaid and Medical.

Here is is:

Under Medicaid law, following the death of the Medicaid recipient a state must attempt to recover from his or her estate whatever long-term care benefits it paid for the recipient's care. States also have the option of recovering all Medicaid benefits from individuals over age 55, including costs for any medical care, not just long-term care benefits. However, no recovery can take place until the death of the recipient's spouse, or as long as there is a child of the deceased who is under age 21 or who is blind or disabled.

While states must attempt to recover funds from the Medicaid recipient's probate estate, meaning property that is held in the beneficiary's name only, they have the option of seeking recovery against property in which the recipient had an interest but which passes outside of probate. This includes jointly held assets, assets in a living trust, or life estates. Given the rules for Medicaid eligibility, the only probate property of substantial value that a Medicaid recipient is likely to own at death is his or her home. However, states that have not opted to broaden their estate recovery to include non-probate assets may not make a claim against the Medicaid recipient's home if it is not in his or her probate estate.

In addition to the right to recover from the estate of the Medicaid beneficiary, state Medicaid agencies must place a lien on real estate owned by a Medicaid beneficiary during his or her life unless certain dependent relatives are living in the property. If the property is sold while the Medicaid beneficiary is living, not only will the beneficiary cease to be eligible for Medicaid due to the cash from the sale, but the beneficiary would have to satisfy the lien by paying back the state for its coverage of care to date. The exceptions to this rule are cases where a spouse, a disabled or blind child, a child under age 21, or a sibling with an equity interest in the house is living there.

Whether or not a lien is placed on the house, the lien's purpose should only be for recovery of Medicaid expenses if the house is sold during the beneficiary's life. The lien should be removed upon the beneficiary's death. However, check with an elder law attorney in your state to see how your local agency applies this federal rule.


Medicaid is not a gift to those who are buying or who own their homes. It is sort of a way of means-testing qualification for Medicaid. So no matter how hard my friend had worked, once she had medical bills in the thousands and thousands, it was gone or most of it was gone.

Cancer and many other expensive diseases including end-of-life care in a nursing home impoverish people at random.

I thought about this when I woke up today. How many heart operations has Dick Cheney had? And he of course is covered by excellent insurance and will not lose his home. But if you or I or our parents or families suffered from a medical problem and faced a choice between paying huge amounts for medications and operations or death, we would suffer and if we had been fortunate enough to buy a house or save money, it would be gone in a flash as it was with my friend.

Obamacare has helped to alleviate this problem, but we still have many people uninsured.

Everyone deserves the kind of healthcare that Dick Cheney has received (even Cheney in my opinion) and we need a system of healthcare that really provides the health insurance to cover that care for EVERYONE, and not just those who qualify for Obamacare and for health insurance in general.

I lived in European countries in which health care was viewed as a right. Of the countries in which I lived, I liked the French system the best. French doctors saved my life, and I was not a French citizen. I had health insurance from another European country, but France took care of me anyway.

That's the kind of health care we need in America. Everyone, even those between jobs, should have the health care they choose. Under the healthcare plan I had, I could choose my doctor. Virtually all doctors were available on my plan, and I could pick a different doctor every few months if I felt I was not getting the care I needed.

Now, think about all I have said and the fact that the Republicans just tried to eliminate any estate taxes on the rich.

The Medicaid claim to the assets of a person who needs a lot of expensive care wipes out the assets of many hardworking people in the middle class. We need to change this, and if everyone pays a fair share to insure against severe illness, we can change this.

I'm voting for Bernie. I don't know whether he agrees with me on my view of health insurance, but I think he has a similar view.

And yes, Bernie is right about Scandinavia. We should learn from them and from the Germans and Austrians and Swiss on many issues.

We can still work on our own problems with racism before we worry about the problems with racism in other countries. Baltimore and Ferguson are my problems, not Stockholm. I want to copy the good things that the Scandinavians do and when our race relations are so good we can brag about them, then we can tell the Scandinavians how to correct theirs.

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cal04 May 2015 OP
leftofcool May 2015 #1
Faygo Kid May 2015 #2
Quixote1818 May 2015 #4
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mother earth May 2015 #8
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valerief May 2015 #10
madfloridian May 2015 #12
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BrotherIvan May 2015 #13
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frylock May 2015 #16
smokey nj May 2015 #25
JDPriestly May 2015 #18
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cilla4progress May 2015 #3
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mother earth May 2015 #7
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BrotherIvan May 2015 #17
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Historic NY May 2015 #26
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LineReply This morning i woke up thinking about a friend of mine who lost her job some years ago
JDPriestly May 2015 #19
malokvale77 May 2015 #40
Triana May 2015 #34
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