Thursday, February 23, 2006

Paying your tithe from your Medicaid

Did congress really just pass a Medicaid bill that causes every act of giving, including church tithes and gifts to the poor, to be deducted from their benefits?  The program already does this to an extent, in the case of someone trying to push assets off to family members or some other safe location so that their assets and income look smaller so that they can qualify for benefits.

      But then comes the new rub—as of Jan. 31 of this year. The law just passed by Congress doesn't try merely to discourage such intra-family dealings. Now it extends the "look-back" period from three years to five years. And now it requires that all charitable giving—including every bit of her tithe to her local church, and starting at the beginning of the five-year period—also be deducted from future benefits.

There’s an appeal process, but it’s daunting.  Score another cynical move for politicians trying to look like their busy fixing something.

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