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Investor Resources Inc, Investment Advisory Service, Port Orchard, WA

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2012May21 No Way!

“Someone has said the best nursing home is the U.S. Senate.”- Ernest F Hollings

Estate Planning:

Could this happen to you?

John Pittas’ mother entered a nursing home for rehabilitation following a car crash. After she left the nursing home, she moved out of the country.  His mother’s $93,000 bill at the home was left unpaid.  The mom had applied for Medicaid, which would normally pay the bill if she couldn’t.

The mom’s Medicaid application did not get approved in enough time to satisfy the nursing home, and it sued her son for the bill.  The state of Pennsylvania, like 29 others in our country, has something called a “filial responsibility law”.  Those laws require that spouses, children and even parents of needy adults support the indigent.  These laws were rarely ever enforced.  The nursing home decided to enforce it rather than have Medicaid do what it was designed to do.

The trial court found for the nursing home.  Mr. Pittas appealed. He argued that the court should have considered Medicaid or going after his mother’s husband and her two other adult children.  Astonishingly, the appeals court not only agreed that the nursing home didn’t have to wait until the Medicaid claim was resolved, it also found that the nursing home could choose any family member it wanted to when seeking payment for the bill.

What are the takeaways here?

First, if your parent is low income, see an elder law attorney who has expertise in Medicaid in your parents’ state and get the application going now if they qualify.

Next, if there was ever an argument for buying long term care insurance, a state’s “filial responsibility” law is it.  If your parents are young enough and healthy enough to be insurable, get them to buy it or buy it for them.

If you aren’t sure about what your responsibility is or may be for your aging parents, get competent advice before any more time passes.

Economy:

Until now, the evidence that manufacturing is moving back to the US from offshore — a process sometimes called ‘re-shoring’ — has been largely anecdotal. Manufacturing jobs have been growing according to reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the growth has been slow. It may be about to pick up.

Some companies, like General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) have been expanding their US manufacturing capacity. And smaller firms, have been either expanding or building new capacity in the US. But numbers are a little hard to come by.

Consulting firm Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has a report out with data that indicates that US firms are indeed moving back home. The firm surveyed 81 senior manufacturing executives at companies that average more than $2 billion in annual revenues.

According to those surveyed, 65% moved manufacturing operations in the past 2 years and 43% plan to move in the next 2 years, while 62% started new operations in the same period. The US led all countries in locations where plants were closed (60% of closings were in the US) and also led in locations to which operations are being moved, with 40% of plants moving to the US.

How much the re-shoring movement means to the US economy depends to a large degree on whether the economy can create enough jobs to buy all those goods. The key is jobs and they are still scarce.

Facebook:

Facebook Inc. shares skidded on their second day on the stock market to well below their offer price, leaving some investors who bought in the social network's public offering in the red and raising questions about whether the company and its lead banker, Morgan Stanley, botched the deal.

The shares, which managed to stay a hair above $38 on their Friday debut with the help of Morgan Stanley, on Monday lost their footing, dropping to as low as $33 before closing down $4.20, or 11%, at $34.03. It wasn't clear what role if any Morgan Stanley was playing in the stock's trading on Monday.

The sharp drop in the share price brought out critics, who faulted the banks who advised Facebook on the deal, saying it was priced too richly. Facebook added to the number of shares for sale and raised the price just ahead of the deal.

A number of factors combined to undercut the potential success of the share performance, market participants said. Problems Friday morning at the Nasdaq Stock Market left some investors with orders processed improperly, if at all. Traders said the problems weighed on the share price, as some investors didn't know where they stood with the stock.

But others said Nasdaq's fumbles, which it acknowledged, were only part of the problem. The greater issue, they said, was that the company and its bankers overestimated demand. In particular, they pointed to a decision disclosed Wednesday to raise the potential pool of shares to be sold to 484.4 million shares from 388 million.

The slump is likely to turn up the heat on Facebook to boost its performance by generating more revenue from its user base, which includes more than 900 million active users. The company's earnings fell 12% in the first quarter amid surging expenses.