So much for small government and family values. Republican Governor Scott Walker’s “budget” includes some very disturbing news for Medicaid clients and their spouses and children. So disturbing that one attorney suggests there now exists a danger to getting married in Wisconsin and you may want to rethink it, “In the future, I’m going to have to say there is some danger and you may want to rethink whether it’s a good idea to get married at all.”
You also might want to get a divorce or at least a legal document drawn up dividing your property legally if you think you might need to go on Medicaid, but you better foresee that need more than five years in advance or it’s not going to fly.
Oh, the government always wanted to be repaid for services, but you used to be able to set money aside in a trust for things like your funeral but not anymore. Not if you live in Wisconsin. You see, Scott Walker has found the source of all evil, and it’s not the corporations he’s handing taxpayer money to with no return or the people he rewards with huge raises for doing his dirty work. No, the evil is your scamming neighbors (nicely pointed out by his not-divisive administration — you wouldn’t want your neighbors grifting off of you!) who took Medicaid and then tried to leave some property to their kids.
They have to pay, even if it means no one will want to be married in Wisconsin anymore.
Scott Walker’s budget expanded estate recovery powers, so leaving something to your kids or grandkids might not happen now. The state wants to make sure no one is abusing Medicaid, so they’ve made more restrictions for qualifying and they’ve granted themselves incredible recovery power over Wisconsinites’ property.
“Provisions buried in the new Wisconsin budget dramatically expanded the state’s ability to claim dead couples’ joint property, such as Green Bay Packers tickets or the family farm, to recoup Medicaid expenses — even if the assets are protected in trusts,” the Post Crescent reported.
This means the state can claim property even if it’s not subject to probate or held in a trust. Is this small government in action? Where is the respect for private property that conservatives cherish?
Here’s where the family values kick in. Attorney and former chair of the state bar’s elder law board Peter Grosskopf told the Post Crescent “couples might start considering divorce as a way to protect at least one spouse’s assets so there’s something left to pass on. Or they may choose not to get married.” He added, “In the future, I’m going to have to say there is some danger and you may want to rethink whether it’s a good idea to get married at all.”
Ironically, given Republicans seizing on President Obama delaying some aspects of ObamaCare, it is unclear when these changes will go into effect because some “concerns” have been raised.
So now Republicans are going to review the policy they already passed into law. However, there is a big difference. We had two years of public debate over ObamaCare and many years of prior efforts (not to mention RomneyCare) to base the legislation on, whereas Wisconsin Republicans debated over the Walker budget for less than 15 minutes.
The state that is bringing up the rear in jobs and in June was awarded the economy killer status of being 49th in economic growth indicators gave a $650 million tax break and because Republicans love to bury non-fiscal goodies in their budgets, the budget removes the Wisconsin Center of Investigative Journalism from the University of Wisconsin. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, since Walker has taken to arresting singing grandmothers.
Walker calls all of these disasters “reforms,” which is Republican for doing what the Koch brothers told us to but labeling it very differently so as to confuse the voters.
Reforms sounds so great – it sounds like they’re getting things done, taking care of business, trimming the fat. But no. Not so much. Republicans called Walker’s budget the “right track” and said it meant Wisconsin was “Open for Business.” But of course, Wisconsin is not open for business; Forbes named Wisconsin one of the “worst states” for business in December of 2012. A Chamber of Commerce’s study placed Wisconsin dead last for short term job growth from September 2010 and November 2012. It is 44th in the nation for private job creation and it is one of only five states in contraction.
Only in Wisconsin are the elderly, the long term sick and disabled being warned that being married could be a danger. Marriage is soon to be reserved only for the real people, aka, corporations and those who serve them blindly.