Obamacare: Stimulus for Estate Abuse?
By Lou Ann Anderson
As the U.S. Senate leaders wrapped up the debate over government control of health care, some dangerous characters are lurking in the wings. Grave robbers, property poachers, walker stalkers and other opportunists seeking to loot estates are likely applauding this move. Disgruntled family members, wannabe heirs or unscrupulous members of the legal industry will find Obamacare helpful with Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) actions in which probate venues or instruments like wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney are used to divert assets from intended heirs or beneficiaries.
“Elder financial abuse is frequently termed the crime of the 21st Century…”
The House of Representatives bill introduced end-of-life counseling. When “reform” cost explanations failed to reconcile with fiscal responsibility principles and political realities, the public viewed such provisions as precursors to health care rationing and logically began questioning administration of such a process. While the exact language of the final law is yet to be determined, concern legitimately exists that similar end-of-life provisions or measures that open the door to such provisions will be inserted prior to any upcoming final vote.
Palliative care, a common end-of-life care component, is defined as any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing disease symptom severity rather than striving to halt, delay, or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure. The goal is to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness. While used with aggressive treatment, it is also a common alternative for patients who decline prolonged, expensive efforts. Performed under the guise of government-run health care, it’s likely to become a mandated, state-sponsored doping of sick Americans deemed unsuitable for proactive medical treatment.
Elder financial abuse is frequently termed the crime of the 21st century. Estate looting and other probate abuse often fall into this category. Estate disputes frequently include allegations of undue influence with the role of medication being a common point of contention. If palliative care becomes a major tool in the government’s arsenal of health care cost-cutting measures, predators will seize this opportunity.
“Isolate, medicate, steal the estate” is a phrase commonly associated with IRA acts. The medicate phase offers great opportunity for the use of undue influence that can lead to late-in-life and uncharacteristic estate plan changes. Abandoning proactive medical treatments to artificially incapacitate our seniors in the name of “palliative care” will aid unscrupulous individuals in estate hijacking pursuits. Similar concerns can be raised for the disabled or younger people with terminal illness or life-threatening injuries – especially individuals attached to a significant estate as legal settlements can provide.
People seem increasingly concerned as they learn more about the proposed reforms. The administration and Congressional leaders claim their reform will be better for all Americans. The federal government wants us to trust them with a plan that will ultimately position a majority of Americans to forfeit a flawed, but functioning health care system to provide coverage for up to 40+ million previously uninsured “Americans” whose true numbers are unknown. The pressure to quickly approve this legislation despite its illogical economic premise and language clearly questionable to the longevity and welfare of many Americans – especially the elderly – is rightfully a major cause for concern.
Health-Care Reform legislation leaving rightful heirs empty-handed
Estate abuse and probate corruption already threaten the property rights of Americans and their heirs’ or beneficiaries’ inheritance rights. Provisions of this legislation – specifically doping rather than treating certain population segments – will add to the problem. An unsuspecting public must become aware of IRA threats and the accompanying consequences likely to flow from the current health care proposal.
The treatment of estate thefts as civil rather than criminal matters has already provided growth opportunities for the legal industry in addition to generating incentives for others desiring to divert assets from intended beneficiaries. Increased numbers of heavily-medicated, especially elderly, Americans will likely fuel this expansion of activity.
Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture. She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com and a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas Foundation.
Lou Ann Anderson may be contacted via e-mail at