Congress Urged to Curb Medicaid "Estate Planning."
Congress should include in health care reform a law to prevent middle- and upper-income elderly from transferring savings and assets to their children in order to qualify for Medicaid long-term care benefits at taxpayer expense, the president of the American Association of Homes for the Aging (AAHA) told Congress recently.
Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Sheldon L. Goldberg, AAHA's president, described Medicaid "estate planning" as unfair and a further drain on the already overburdened U.S. health care system.
"While Medicaid costs are soaring," Goldberg said, "attorneys have developed a specialty in helping people legally divest themselves of assets to become eligible for Medicaid. Yet for every Medicaid dollar spent on someone who has sheltered significant resources, there is one less dollar to spend on those who have no resources but Medicaid."
AAHA is urging the White House and Congress to include coverage for catastrophic long-term care expenses (nursing home stays exceeding 12 to 24 months) in the health reform plan now being discussed. …