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Unbelievable revelation of something that's been found in the new Wisconsin State Budget passed by Republicans earlier this year.

We all know that it's customary for the government to seek compensation for Medicaid, AFDC, or other federal payments made to someone during their lifetimes from available assets when someone dies.  Buried in the State Budget by Republicans is their new provision to put this on steroids in Wisconsin.

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 language is designed to help the state recover Medicaid money spent on a number of long-term care programs, most notably Family Care, which helps keep disabled and elderly people out of costly nursing homes.

(bolding is mine)

Wisconsin is now prioritizing the recovery of every single dollar by removing a lot of the federal restrictions on recovery of funds.   It looks like even a funeral trust fund (money put in a trust for ones own funeral) could be scooped up by the state in compensation for any Medicaid spending.

Of course, the way that Republicans inserted the amendment, on the day of the Assembly vote on the entire budget, makes it even more suspicious as to their malevolent intent.

It’s unclear when the provisions will take effect. Assembly Republicans quietly amended them on the day they passed the budget to prohibit DHS from implementing them without approval from the Legislature’s budget committee. The amendment gives DHS until June 30, 2015, to submit an implementation plan to the committee.
Republicans have such a vast majority in the State Assembly that Democrats don't even have to show up for a quorum so the amendment passed without scrutiny.  Now in the budget and "legal", people are noticing.  Organizations like the AARP and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau are reviewing the new law.

The Walker administration is defending the new law by citing their "concern for taxpayers".   Of course, those "taxpayer concerns" melt away when it comes to funneling tens of millions of dollars into the Scott Walker created and led Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation with all of their financial mismanagement and scandals.

Additionally, the Walker administration says that the new rules will ensure that only the most needy will used Medicaid or other services.  Yeah, as though the requirements for receiving aid aren't already stringent enough.  Do they think people will "think harder" about accepting Medicaid if they know the state will swoop in and take their funeral trust so there won't be any money to bury them?  Beyond heartless.

Frankly, I think the state can spend their money more wisely than combing through the obituaries searching for folks who may have received Medicaid for a month of care in a nursing home who might have left a set of Packers tickets to their kids or who might have had some money in a trust for their funeral expenses.  

But this is how petty our GOP is here - resorting to literally robbing the graves of deceased citizens assets, but wasting tens of millions of dollars in giveaways and untracked loans to corporations through WEDC.

The real Death Tax.  Brought to you by Wisconsin Republicans.  Maybe they'll go after the gold in their teeth next.

I keep asking:  How low can Republicans go?

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For your continuing enjoyment:  Scott Walker is still lying.  Politifact should have given him a Pants on Fire for claiming that under his first 2 years, "Wisconsin has seen its best job growth in a decade".  They only labeled it as "false" because, well, they seem to dearly love Republicans and don't necessarily get their facts right on them.

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From the Facebook page Shit Scott Walker is Doing to My State comes this photo and information:

This firefighter, Ted Higgins (just interviewed on Slys show) was among the first arrested today at the Solidarity Singalong.  Yup.  They're sinking even lower.

For more pictures and information, please see affinis's wonderful diary here.

Anyone interested in donating to the fund for the legal expenses of those arrested can visit here.  Thanks in advance.

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Originally posted to Puddytat on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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