Ryan’s Medicare reform plus filial responsibility laws equal more debt for middle-class

By Cynthia Wilson
Have you heard of filial responsibility laws?  If you haven’t rest assured you will if vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform proposals become a reality.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25:  House of Representat...

Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s V.P. running mate.  (Getty Images via @daylife)

Currently 29 states and Puerto Rico have filial responsibility laws that require children to pay the health care debts of indigent parents?  That means if a court declares you responsible for your parent’s unpaid debts you could face a fine, which may be the least of your worries.  Some states allow criminal charges and jail time for not paying the bills.

I agree with Ryan that we must cut Medicare spending to sustain the program that is a safety-net for most Americans. But I don’t agree with Ryan’s plan to fix the problem with spending cuts alone. And I don’t support privatizing the system.

Ryan says he doesn’t want to raise taxes. However, the middle-class will adversely feel the economic effects of his solution for Medicare reform because more adult children will become directly responsible for their parent’s health care debts because of filial responsibility laws, which a federal appeals court has upheld based on a case out of Pennsylvania.

I go into more detail about filial responsibility laws in my new book “Who Will Take Care of Mom? A Guide for Family-Managed Senior Care,” and how it will affect the middle-class.  The book also shares time-tested solutions that will help many families mitigate the effects of filial responsibility laws.

Related articles

Ryan’s traditional option in Medicare reform no different from Obama’s public option

Voting more important than ever for seniors

Enhanced by Zemanta

I'm a working wife and mom who takes care of an aging parent. Only I began doing it full-time, in my home, when I was in my mid-thirties, single and about to make a career change. Thirteen years later, mom is still living with me and I expect it to be that way until one of us leaves this earth. It hasn't always been easy managing her care. (I've helped my mother recover from surgery, and a major injury that required a nursing home stay, as well as the death of my younger brother after a long illness.) But caring for her has been worth it because I know that my assistance means she enjoys a better quality of life as she ages. I hope the experiences and information that I share will help you manage,with grace, the changes that take place in your life as you assume the responsibility of being your parent's caregiver. If you have a question you think I can answer, please contact me at Cynthia@motherskeeper.com

Posted in Caregiver tips, Medicare and Medicaid reform Tagged with: , , ,