Filial Responsibility Laws

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blackbird
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by blackbird »

This turns my stomach.

My dad has lived a dirtbag life for decades. Openly used drugs since I was 14 (now mid-30s), offered them to my brother numerous times, no fiscal responsibility, believes the world owes him everything, has treated my like garbage uncountable times. Had a major heart attack several years ago, quadruple bypass, and of course, he told me he had been on drugs at the time. State held accountable for $100,000s of dollars. Now gets 'disability'. I was only family member willing to take him in after the heart attack b/c he is such an unpleasant person, and he refused b/c I said he would need to live by our rules (no smoking, etc). Yet reading these laws, I WOULD BE responsible for his care in most of these states. That is B$$$$$$T!

Is there any way to legally sever the connection from parent to child?

GandK
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by GandK »

Our three remaining parents live in Florida, so this issue isn't one that will hit us personally. However, it makes me angry that it's possible for anyone. If it isn't legal for a child to have to pay for sustenance and care for a parent during that parent's lifetime, how then is it magically legal to make them pay for it after the parent is dead... and when every other debt legally dies with the parent?

Apart from situations like reasonable alimony, an adult should not be legally forced to maintain another able-bodied adult who is not their spouse.

George the original one
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by George the original one »

@blackbird - most of the laws have outs if your parents are dirtbags that didn't provide support when you were a child.

@GandK - parents that rack up medical bills in old age are NOT able-bodied, ya know?

GandK
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by GandK »

George the original one wrote:@GandK - parents that rack up medical bills in old age are NOT able-bodied, ya know?
But they had their chance to pile up assets when they were, just like we are doing now. All outstanding debts are supposed to die with the person they're attached to, not find a new host as if they were a parasite. This is a fault in the care and insurance system. Grieving children should not be faced with ginormous medical bills that they did not personally incur and had no control over being transferred from their parent's estate to their own.

These laws would never survive a Supreme Court challenge. They would be struck down from both sides. The right would kill it on civil liberties grounds, the left on the grounds that it's predatory and a result of corporate greed.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

These laws would never survive a Supreme Court challenge. They would be struck down from both sides. The right would kill it on civil liberties grounds, the left on the grounds that it's predatory and a result of corporate greed.
Funny, I was thinking the opposite. Can't remember the last time the Supreme Court didn't support predatory corporate greed--which is all this is.

George the original one
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by George the original one »

@GandK - So you're telling me that you would choose to not support a parent who managed to outlive their pile of cash? Or are you saying that you would be perfectly willing to take that parent under your roof and tend to their needs in person?

George the original one
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by George the original one »

Or let me phrase it another way:
If your parent ran out of money while under care, what would you do when the care facility evicted your parent?

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

If my parents outlive their pile of cash then I would hope the entitlement Ponzi schemes I've been paying into (or was it just a slush fund for corporate welfare and warmongering after all?) would fulfill its purpose and support them. I don't think this is about how any of us plan to take care of our elderly. It's about the rights of a corporate entity to pursue you for someone else's debt. A health care clinic should be able to charge the individual receiving care or the individual's insurance/Medicare/Medicaid--no one else. That is the understood social contract.

If my parents ran out of money while under care and could not afford any alternative, yeah, I would take them in. Personally, I would hope to take them in anyway with putting them "under care" as a last resort, though we haven't had any such discussions. That said, I sure as hell would not accept any debt they had incurred as my own if I could help it! Entirely different considerations.

George the original one
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by George the original one »

The filial responsibility laws take it a step further and assume that you want your parent to be cared for. The alternative is the elderly are evicted from care facilities. The states where fililial laws are in effect have extended the social contract... it is your responsibility as offspring to make sure your parents are cared for. You have a say in that care!

GandK
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by GandK »

George the original one wrote:@GandK - So you're telling me that you would choose to not support a parent who managed to outlive their pile of cash? Or are you saying that you would be perfectly willing to take that parent under your roof and tend to their needs in person?
I would most certainly care for my parents personally, just as I helped care for my grandfather before he passed. But choosing to care for my parents while they're alive and choosing to pay their unsecured health care debts after they're gone are two completely different things. When my parents are dead, it's no longer about supporting my parents. At that point it's about supporting my spouse and children. I'm not going to spend down resources intended for them to pay bills that no longer help my parents one iota.

The alternative is not that the elderly are evicted when their estates run out of cash. Credit card balances, education loans, car loans, mortgages, and every other kind of debt is absorbed by the company if the holder (or his surviving spouse) dies, why not this type as well? It should be. And generally, it is. Our government provides health care funding for the indigent through Medicaid, through our taxes. If that funding is inadequate, that's an issue. If the health care providers are gouging the government, that's an issue. If health care and pharmaceutical companies are charging exorbitant rates, that's an issue. But regardless of where the financing breakdown lies, the onus for fixing it should not fall to people who are not receiving services.

There is NO NEED for filial support laws.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

Seems to me this kind of nonsense typically happens when a health care facility assumes Medicare or Medicaid will reimburse for charges, only to find out due to the facility's own misunderstanding of the bureaucratese that some particular services aren't covered. Despite this clearly being the facility's error (or the government's, depending on the stupidity and arcanity of the regulations in question), the provider turns around and bills the patient. The patient may or may not have been warned that the services might not be covered--an advanced beneficiary notice is considered optional. This is VERY common.

If the patient dies before the facility can recover, apparently that's when we get these situations where the provider (or Medicaid?) gets to chase next of kin.

I think it's absolutely absurd and the care facilities should eat the cost of their own errors and absorb their own debts as necessary, just as any other business error or outstanding debt is treated. Neither throwing people in the street nor charging people (the patient or his kin) after the fact seem very fair to me. @George, are you defending this practice?

EDIT: x2 GandK

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jennypenny
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by jennypenny »

I think GTOO's point is that if a facility thinks a resident can no longer pay the bill and threatens to evict the patient, what happens then? What does the facility do if the children are not interested in taking in the patient or paying for their care? I know a lot of people who would try and duck that responsibility (personal and financial).

------

This thread is particularly interesting running alongside the Population Issues thread. There are many child-free people on this forum. If they run out of cash while in a residential elder care facility, what does the facility do then? Kick them out? Go after other kin?

If one outcome of smaller families is to redefine what 'family' is/means (as GandK mentioned in the other thread), then I can see filial laws also being changed to extend the reach beyond direct descendants.

RealPerson
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by RealPerson »

On the other hand, you are probably far more likely to be hit by lightning than to be hit up for this. Plus, being hit by lightning has more severe consequences than just financial.

George the original one
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by George the original one »

> I think it's absolutely absurd and the care facilities should eat the cost of their own errors and
> absorb their own debts as necessary, just as any other business error or outstanding debt is treated.

If I were a shareholder of care facilities, I would expect the care facility to use any legal means to recover debts. Anything less is bad business.

Businesses with bad debts typically sell those debts to credit hounds. Hospitals and care facilities are no different in this regard.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

If I were a shareholder of care facilities, I would expect the care facility to use any legal means to recover debts. Anything less is bad business.
Well, obviously. It's a given that corporations are gonna do whatever they can (legally or otherwise) to benefit themselves. The question is whether pursuing an individual for debt they didn't incur and for which, in any other context, any other debt, they would not be held responsible, should be considered "legal means". I don't think so. Do you?

Seems to me there's a step that's missing here between evicting residents and pursuing descendants for debts, and that's fixing the health care system. But honestly? If you're giving me the choice between evicting people or allowing corporations to hold non-responsible parties liable for debt, then I choose the evictions.

Either the government or individual responsibility should be taking over from there, depending on your politics. But allowing private corporations to run up charges for someone they KNOW can't pay and then throw the bill at whoever it sticks to? I'm sorry, that seems somewhere between unreasonable and downright fascist.
Last edited by Spartan_Warrior on Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tyler9000
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Tyler9000 »

George the original one wrote: If I were a shareholder of care facilities, I would expect the care facility to use any legal means to recover debts. Anything less is bad business.

Businesses with bad debts typically sell those debts to credit hounds. Hospitals and care facilities are no different in this regard.
Sure. But the issue here is the logic of the law in the first place.

There was an article recently about parents who were forced to repay the student loans of their child after she died. As sad as that was, they co-signed on the loan and knew what they were getting into legally (assuming they read the fine print). Filial responsibility laws for children of parents in care facilities are like legislating that the parents are obligated to repay the student loans of their children even if they did not co-sign or had any say in the loan because of some inherent social obligation to support their adult children. That's ridiculous, and reeks of greedy corporate lobbying in the lawmaking process.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

Tyler9000 wrote:That's ridiculous, and reeks of greedy corporate lobbying in the lawmaking process.
Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

George the original one
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by George the original one »

LOL, I think you're assuming these laws are relatively recent rather than an outgrowth of the phasing out of state "poorhouses" that were predominant in the 1800s.

From Wikipedia:
"At one time, as many as 45 U.S. states had statutes obligating an adult child to care for his or her parents. Some states repealed their filial support laws after Medicaid took a greater role in providing relief to elderly patients without means. Other states did not, and a large number of filial support laws remain dormant on the books."

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

Granted, the laws themselves are vestigial. It still seems to me that the problems in the health care system today which these laws are being resurrected to patch would not exist without the lobbying of the very greedy for-profit health care industry--the same kind of lobbying that gave us the "individual mandate" while stripping out the public option in ObamaCare, etc. In fact, the underlying intent here--as the law is being practiced today if not originally--strikes me as very similar to the individual mandate: the transfer of rights and wealth from individuals to corporations. If anything, it's convenient for the health care industry that these laws already exist so the only lobbying they have to do is to preserve the status quo (and they lobby hard for that, if you haven't noticed).

I've asked three times and won't again: What is your position here, George? Do you think this is a reasonable law? Why or why not?

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Filial Responsibility Laws

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

Also:
George the original one wrote:Businesses with bad debts typically sell those debts to credit hounds. Hospitals and care facilities are no different in this regard.
Sure. Do those credit hounds get to hound the debtor's offspring? (Serious question. I wouldn't think so, but I could use another source of outrage.)

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