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The cost of healthcare in the United States keeps rising. Costs are so out of control that the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills. The cost of Long Term care for the elderly and disabled is the worst. Home care services (attendant care) start at $30,000 a year for minimal hours. Nursing home care now averages $75,000 a year and rising. Unless you plan on making at least $100,000 a year or more in your retirement or can guarantee you will never get sick or have an accident THIS AFFECTS YOU!!!!
In 1993 the United States Congress passed the OBRA '93 which required that all 50 states recover all Medicaid money paid out to provide Home Care Services (attendant care) and Nursing Home services. It is called the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP). Congress did not limit how the states would collect money from the families of the recipient. It specifically targets and discriminates against the elderly and disabled working class. In other words Congress has mandated that states terrorize the elderly and disabled and make them the scapegoats for their poor budgeting.
Most jobs do not pay enough money to cover the cost of attendant care services so the disabled cannot afford their care to get to work. Most people in their retirement do not make enough to pay for home care or nursing home care for just one person. People have to ask for assistance with the cost from their state governments. In order to be eligible to receive help the elderly and disabled have to take a vow of poverty and promise never to work or live above the poverty line. Their families suffer as well. So the disabled are kept from ever working (that's why unemployment among physically disabled with mobility issues is 69%) and the elderly are punished for needing help and not making $100,00 or more in their retirement (like members of Congress).
After being forced into poverty since they have no choice, either get their needs met or not, they cannot make ends meet and are stripped of everything they worked for except their home and a car. No one else in the family receives medical help, they have to pay for their medical themselves with money they do not have. So they either go into debt or do not seek medical attention when needed. Upon the death of the Medicaid recipient the family forced into poverty is now handed a bill from the state expecting payment for all the money the state spent on Long Term care and any other services. It does not matter that you and your spouse have paid Social Security tax all your life.
Since the family was forced into poverty they cannot pay the bill so the state takes what assets they do have - their homes, property, bank accounts, Trust Funds, etc. Whatever the family has that is worth anything. Liens are put on homes.
Families are responsible for paying a bill that they and the recipient have absolutely no control over. The state sets the rate of pay and then pays the agency the same amount each month whether services are provided or not. The state has no idea if services were provided because the client is not involved at all. The family has no idea what the state is paying out to the agency because al transactions are kept strictly between the agency and the state. The agency can charge for hours and supplies they never provided and the family is stuck with the bill. This predatory loan is a blank check the state writes and then holds the family responsible.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS MADE YOU A LIABILITY TO YOUR FAMILY!!!!!!!!
Everything you worked for and built up to leave your family is taken by the state government!!!! You are not allowed to leave your family ANYTHING!!!! That is your punishment for not making $100,000 or more in your retirement or for being disabled!!!!
As a result many people opt out of assistance and die at home never receiving the care they needed. The caregivers, usually the spouse or an adult child, get ill and die at a much younger age because of the incredible demands on caregivers, emotionally and physically.
Congress claims this is necessary to defray the cost of Medicaid yet they do not have a problem with spending $27 billion on Pork Barrel Projects in 1996 and $92 billion on corporate welfare (that's cash not tax cuts)to Fortune 500 companies (not small businesses, but oil companies and corporations) in 1996. Those amounts increase every year exponentially!!! There are no restrictions to be eligible for Corporate welfare and they NEVER have to pay it back, unlike Medicare and Medicaid!
The Department of Health and Human Services has studied the recovery rates for all the states. At best states only recover less than 1% of what they paid out. By the time court fees and filing fees and labor costs are calculated many states found that it actually was costing tax payers money not saving it!
Unless you plan on making at least $100,000 a year or more in your retirement or can guarantee you will never get sick or have an accident THIS IS YOUR FUTURE!!!!
This is a Federally endorsed predatory loan, NOT welfare, and an act of terrorism against American workers. If you never work and never marry and have a family you are safe. Tell congress what you think of this barbaric act of legislation. Tell them to stop this form of home grown terrorism on hard working people. The government does not have the right to take everything youu have built up and worked for away from your family. It specifically targets and discriminates against the elderly and disabled. It is an unconstitutional law and has gone on too long. Sign the petition and tell Congress to reverse this immoral terror on the American people. Let Americans keep what they have worked for!
For more information go to http:// healthcare2008.bravehost.com
We the undersigned urge you to reverse the OBRA '93 Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP). This program requires states to recover money paid to people receiving assistance with the cost of long term care such as attendant care and nursing home care through Medicaid. It makes families pay back the money upon the recipient's death after years of living in poverty in order for the recipient to get their medical care. It is immoral and unconstitutional to make the American people pay for programs they have already paid for with their Social Security taxes. In many states the recovery program is costing tax payers money not saving it.
MERP specifically targets and discriminates against the elderly and disabled for needing long term care. It punishes Americans for working and building up assets and having families. If the recipients never worked or bought homes or had families they would be safe from this horrid predatory loan.
It is under the guise of defraying the cost of Medicaid yet in 1996 Congress spent over $27 billion on Pork Barrel projects and $92 billion in corporate welfare to Fortune 500 companies with the American people's money. None of these recipients needed the money nor did they have to pay any of it back. So why should Americans pay back something they already paid into and IS medically necessary?
Too many people are opting out of Medicaid to save their homes from recovery so they have something to leave their families. They are not receiving medical care and their families are taking on the burden for their care alone.
The Federal government is engaging in predatory loans, feeding off the most vulnerable and needy in our communities. It is an act of discrimination and terrorizes our elderly and disabled. The United States government has made the elderly and disabled liabilities to their own families.
Families are responsible for paying for a bill that they and the recipient have absolutely no control over. The state sets the rate of pay and then pays the agency the same amount each month whether services are provided or not. The state has no idea if services were provided because the client is not involved at all. The family has no idea what the state is paying out to the agency because all transactions are kept strictly between the agency and the state. The agency can charge for hours and supplies they never provided and the family is stuck with the bill. This predatory loan is a blank check the state writes and then holds the family responsible.
It has gone on too long and too many people have suffered as a result. Families caring for an aged or disabled family member need help. It is stressful enough caring for someone without the state and federal government hovering at their door waiting to pounce and seize a lifetime of working and building. Americans should not be denied the right to leave their families everything they worked for.
MERP is a barbaric and unconstitutional act of legislation. We urge you to end it now. Do not require nor allow states to terrorize American citizens anymore. Long Term Care is a medial necessity. People should not be punished for needing help. Reverse MERP now!
Thank you for considering our comments.