ever get the property-tax relief Deval Patrick promised when he was
running, I hope you spend it before you're a self-paying patient in
a nursing home.
governor's new budget increases the state's already outrageous tax
on nursing homes, which is passed directly on to patients who aren't
on Medicare or Medicaid.
So if a
patient didn't spend or hide all his assets, and can still pay his
own way, he is charged a daily "fee" for which he gets no special
treatment. This "fee," therefore, is really a tax. It's a tax on
injured, chronically ill or elderly patients who've maintained some
economic independence and who pay the nursing home for their own
time I checked the added tax was over $10 a day, but that amount
reflects the original state law, which says the fee must be adjusted
so that, when all the nursing homes have sent in their share, the
state gets $135 million. Gov. Patrick wants that increased to $220
has the added benefit of using up the self-payer's own money so that
he too goes on Medicaid, which is partly reimbursed by the federal
government — a state scam that so far the feds have tolerated. But
why not? They can just put it on the national debt tab for our
grandchildren to pay.
for Limited Taxation keeps filing legislation to repeal this obscene
tax, with no success.
nursing home "fee" was originally the bright idea of acting Gov.
Jane Swift's administration, and we couldn't get Gov. Romney to
repeal it. So the tax is a true bipartisan effort. Isn't it nice
when Republicans and Democrats stop fighting and work together?
mother went into a nursing home in Pennsylvania, she still had
assets that had to be paid down before Medicaid kicked in. People
told us we were crazy not to have moved her money out of state, but
we thought that would be cheating; and besides, we both liked the
idea that she was a paying customer instead of a welfare patient.
were still alive and living in Massachusetts, I'd use every legal
tactic to spend down her assets, before she could be punished for
having them via this additional tax. It's one thing to be extra
honest, and another thing to be a sucker, which, increasingly, has
become another name for taxpayers of all ages here.
Admittedly, I'm not doing this with my own meager assets; partly
because I'm just getting used to being a senior citizen, and partly
because like so many people, I am determined not to move into a
nursing home here.
also been determined not to join AARP, regardless of how many
consumer discounts it offers, mostly because it keeps appearing on
lists of groups opposing tax cuts and supporting tax increases on
SWP (still-working persons). I recall the Mass. Council of Older
Americans opposing Proposition 2½.
have come to divide senior citizens into people like me, who feel
"entitled" only to what we have earned ourselves, and greedy
geezers. The latter are defined as those who demand more from
taxpayers even as they get to the age where their own contributions
to Social Security and Medicare are exhausted, putting them on the
receiving end of society.
recall my mother and her friends urging a letter-writing campaign in
opposition to an increase in Medicare charges. I pointed out that
they were getting just a tad "grabby," to which my mother replied:
"Young lady, your father and I paid taxes all our lives and never
asked for anything from the government (including payment for my
K-12 Catholic education). Now I expect something back."
hard to argue with that, at least until those Social Security
contributions are used up. I compute my own payroll deductions, my
employers' contributions and a reasonable rate of interest that I
could have earned from saving the money myself. Maybe I could
include the money I've paid in other taxes for government activities
I don't support, and subtract the cost of services I personally
receive and my share of those government expenditures I do support.
all that computing, maybe I'll be close to 80 when I go on SS
welfare. I'm trying not to think about how soon I'll use up my
contributions to Medicare, which will vanish with a few major
this in mind, I watch the fascinating debate in Salem on siting for
a senior citizens' center. Setting aside the bizarre notion that
Mayor Kim Driscoll wants to poison the city's seniors by
entertaining them on polluted land, I see seniors divided among
those who appreciate her extraordinary efforts and those who insist
they are entitled to a view of Salem Harbor while they play bingo!
economy deteriorates, we are seeing a resurgence of class warfare;
we will also see more generational division as younger citizens
struggle to keep afloat. Watch the debate between seniors who care
about the next generations and greedy geezers who just care about