I don't understand how folks come to the conclusion that the government should somehow protect people from having to use their own money for nursing home stays. Before the taxpayer picks up the tab, the person in need of nursing home care should be forced to exhaust all of their personal funds. I think a strong argument can be made that the same person's immediate family (adult kids) should pay too, at least before the taxpayers are called to pick up the tab. Do you feel the same way about education?We subsidize education through taxes. Heck, public education is largely free regardless of income. Everyone pays regardless if you have kids in school or not.The idea behind providing incentives for people to protect their assets is so that they actually spend of their money insuring against this expense, instead of solely depending on the state to provide care. This is the same idea behind financial incentives in college savings (529) plans. The state wants you to take care of this on your own so that they don't have to - and they are willing to provide you some financial incentive to do so.Just like your 401k and IRA. Those tax benefits are the government's way of encouraging you to save so you are less of a burden on the state and fed when you retire.If there was no way to protect assets from medicaid, a lot of people would simply spend down all their money as soon as they have a qualifying event - regardless of how long their stay might be.
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