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March 02, 2005

Medical Costs v. the Ownership Society

Take two stories in the last two days-- first the fact that most families going bankrupt are losing their assets to medical costs, and now a story that the Bush administration wants to crack down on families trying to pass on assets to their children so they qualify for nursing care through Medicaid.

Health care costs are destroying the small accumulations of wealth of families across the country, and any President who really cared about an "ownership society" would reject Bush's bankruptcy and Medicaid proposals.

In order to allow the very wealthy to pass on their wealth untaxed, the Bush administration is willing to bust the federal deficit. But if families of moderate means try to preserve a few assets for their children, this administration wants to nickel and dime them to seize that wealth to pay the inexorable health care costs overwhelming most families.

Forget social security reform. If Bush actually cared about "nest eggs", he wouldn't be plotting how to restrict Medicaid spending, but would be planning how to expand long-term nursing care for working families who don't currently qualify for Medicaid. But Bush doesn't care about an "ownership society" for anyone other than the very wealthy who are his political base (who of course have a lovely loophole in the bankruptcy bill to help them protect their assets from creditors.)

Posted by Nathan at March 2, 2005 12:31 AM