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ELA President Takes on Medicaid Planning Critics on Radio

  • February 15th, 2005

In a radio interview with on WBUR (Boston), ElderLawAnswers president Harry S. Margolis debunked claims that Medicaid planning constitutes inheritance protection for the rich, as it had been characterized by another speaker on the program, Jim Frogue with the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The rich do not depend on Medicaid, Margolis told Robin Young, host of the show "Here & Now." Instead, the program has become the government's system of financing long-term care for middle-income Americans.

It is unfortunate that the government uses a health care program for the poor to finance nursing home care, Margolis said, but that does not mean that the risk of needing long-term care should not be shared by families and the government, as it is now.

It is ironic, Margolis added, that the Bush administration decries the use of Medicaid planning by the middle class to preserve a small inheritance for their children, while at the same time it pushes to repeal the estate tax, which only applies to estates of more than $1.5 million for individuals and more than $3 million for married couples if they do a minimum of estate planning.

Margolis said we need a public debate about whether middle-income people should be prevented from qualifying for Medicaid so that people who are wealthy can save on taxes.

The entire interview may be heard by clicking here, but you need Real Player on your computer to hear it. (You can download Real Player, if necessary, at no charge. See the WBUR site for details.)

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Last Modified: 02/15/2005

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