Medicaid planning encourages poverty posers, looting of taxpayer assets

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A positive, upbeat tone is our desired approach when addressing policy issues.  However, the inaccuracy and manipulation in current political rhetoric has at least temporarily replaced that mindset making today a good time to set aside diplomacy and tact and instead inject a little reality check into the mix.  As our country divides along the lines of TAKERS and MAKERS, it becomes important to take a closer look at the consequences that occur when one chooses such a side.  Today’s particular source of ire – Medicaid planning – provides such opportunity.

After all, who cares about budget shortfalls and a country on the brink of financial catastrophe?  Who cares about pride in accomplishment and self-sufficiency?  No TAKERS?  Well, not in that sense, but TAKERS do abound.

Try it this way.  Who wants to avoid the burden of late-in-life health care costs (including nursing home stays) so you can keep what you have?  Why not shift your financial responsibility to the MAKERS – to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and other hard-working taxpayers – the dupes who play by the rules?  Plenty of TAKERS for that one.

The demand for such services is reflected in a recent posting.  It was an invitation to a course which trains estate planning attorneys to coach people on how to game the Medicaid system.

Teleconference on Safeguarding the Financial Future of Elderly Clients

National Business Institute

The National Business Institute is sponsoring a 90-minute teleconference on April 20, 2011 entitled Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid. The program description is below:

Middle class Americans seeking asset protection cannot afford to ignore the potentially devastating costs of nursing home and other long-term care. Nursing homes are among the most common and largest creditors an average American is likely to face in his or her lifetime, but only about 10% of the population has Long-Term Care Insurance. For the other 90%, Medicaid is the primary source of payment, so a basic understanding of the Medicaid asset protection process is vital for all professionals who work with seniors and their families. This course will provide an overview of asset protection concepts and strategies that elder law attorneys can use to legally and ethically protect assets while facilitating earlier Medicaid eligibility. Register today!

  • Learn what the income eligibility requirements are when applying for Medicaid.
  • Protect you clients’ interests by knowing what’s exempt and what’s not.
  • Employ the most practical and effective asset transfer methods to comply with the spend-down requirement.
  • Guide clients through the Medicaid qualification process by knowing what’s involved.

Estate of Denial™ has long discussed the involvement of the legal industry, specifically estate planning attorneys, in questionable probate actions that utilize wills, trusts, guardianships or powers of attorneys to divert – or more plainly, loot – estate assets from intended heirs or beneficiaries.

Medicaid planning is nothing more than a variation on this theme, another means by which to divert a portion of estate assets into legal industry coffers.  Orchestrating an effort to “legally and ethically protect assets while facilitating earlier Medicaid eligibility” takes coordination and expertise – so says the above notice.  And as agents of the TAKER class, who can expect that for free?

The folks who utilize Medicaid planning for their own self-interest are akin to the disgruntled family members or wannabe heirs who work in concert with disingenuous attorneys that perpetrate the estate looting actions discussed at this site.

This course was to provide “concepts and strategies that elder law attorneys can use to legally and ethically (emphasis added) protect assets.”  We’ll concede the legality as lawmakers (often lawyers) can functionally make anything legal.  That doesn’t, however, mean it’s right, but many people are comfortable with technically and morally shallow thresholds.  How, though, is encouraging people to pose as poverty-stricken ethical?  And in doing so, how is potentially displacing the truly needy ethical?  Our country is facing massive economic troubles, where are the ethics in coaching people to loot taxpayer-funded programs?

Dennis Miller has a couple of great lines in which he talks of a willingness to help the helpless – not the clueless.  He follows that up with something about believing in a safety net, not a hammock.  Medicaid planning, in many cases, is Miller’s hammock.  Those who are encouraged to game the system by posing as “in need” divert assets from the truly needy.  Way to go TAKERS!

Meanwhile, the MAKERS – folks who tire of being characterized as evil or selfish for wanting to keep maybe 50% of what they earn – endure a constant berating of their efforts and own aspirations.  A recent Tax Day column by Tom Giovanetti from the Institute for Policy Innovation shared perspective from a MAKER point of view.  Sadly, the poverty posers and accompanying enablers want the fruits of the MAKERS’ effort, not the benefit of their insight.

At EstateofDenial™, we routinely write about the U.S. becoming the Land of the Gimme-Gimmes and the Home of the I-Want-Mores.  Medicaid planning is one more example.

From the posting, “Middle class Americans seeking asset protection cannot afford to ignore the potentially devastating costs of nursing home and other long-term care.”  Let’s try another approach, middle (and every other) class of Americans cannot afford to ignore the guaranteed devastating consequences of a country in which the self-proclaimed “in need” individuals outnumber the productive.  Stated differently, some folks need to “push the wagon” – everyone can’t be in for the “free ride.”

MAKERS’ pride in accomplishment once made this country great.  TAKERS’ unwillingness toward such productivity will hasten our demise.  This class warfare, this dependency on government.  It won’t come to a good end.  Everybody can’t be a victim.

One final warning.  The times indeed are a’changing – not for the good – unless we all get really together supporting a fiscally responsible course for this country!  Today offers that opportunity, but the window is closing.  At a point, being a poverty poser will no longer matter as we all come to live in a society in which property rights cease to exist, wealth creation grinds to a halt and personal freedoms are ceded to the government in exchange for a spot at the taxpayer-funded feeding trough.  That’s our current course as the entitlement mentality grows.

How sad for a country founded by people with strong character who believed in principles like individual liberty and property rights to ultimately become dominated by those willing to give up all they own in order to live (or die) at the behest of a government bureaucrat.

God help America see that it’s time we help ourselves!

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