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Expanded Medicaid’s fine print holds surprise: ‘payback’ from estate after death
The Seattle Times ^ | 12-15-13 | Carol Ostrom

Posted on 12/16/2013 7:39:27 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic

As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses. State officials are scrambling to change the rule.

It wasn’t the moonlight, holiday-season euphoria or family pressure that made Sofia Prins and Gary Balhorn, both 62, suddenly decide to get married.

It was the fine print.

As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form — Balhorn’s application for free health insurance through the expanded state Medicaid program. As the paperwork lay on the dining-room table in Port Townsend, Prins began reading.

She was shocked: If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.

The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said.

With an estimated 223,000 adults seeking health insurance headed toward Washington’s expanded Medicaid program over the next three years, the state’s estate-recovery rules, which allow collection of nearly all medical expenses, have come under fire.

Medicaid, in keeping with federal policy, has long tapped into estates. But because most low-income adults without disabilities could not qualify for typical medical coverage through Medicaid, recovery primarily involved expenses for nursing homes and other long-term care.

(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: aca; biggovernment; estates; exchanges; healthcare; marriage; medicaid; medicaidestates; medicaidexpansion; medicaidloan; obamacare; subsidy
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1 posted on 12/16/2013 7:39:27 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

This stipulation/rule/whatever you want to call it is NOT a byproduct of Expanded Medicare. It has been there for decades IIRC.

People think when you get ‘benefits’ from the government that means you are free and clear. No way. You have to pay what you should, if you have the resources. Read the fine print.


2 posted on 12/16/2013 7:42:13 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: afraidfortherepublic

They have something in the estate and they are on Medicaid?


3 posted on 12/16/2013 7:43:02 AM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Gaffer

Medicare should be Medicaid.


4 posted on 12/16/2013 7:43:09 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The difference between government and extortion rackets is twofold:

1.) Extortion rackets aren't backed by the force of law.
2.) Ordinary extortionists normally don't try to steal everything.

5 posted on 12/16/2013 7:44:32 AM PST by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: AppyPappy

It astounds me that when a sick elderly person is thrown into Medicaid at the mercy of the rest of our taxes, that dependents expect that person should be able to keep, and more importantly will over the assets to the children.

The ride is free, but you can’t keep what you squirreled away unless you do it 3 years before.


6 posted on 12/16/2013 7:45:12 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: afraidfortherepublic
I'm not so sure this is a bad thing. Yes, it's harsh ... but I don't see a problem with forcing people to tap their own net worth to pay their medical bills if they are uninsured. That's what the rest of us have to do, isn't it?

This approach actually does people a favor by allowing them to defer payment until after they die.

7 posted on 12/16/2013 7:45:17 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: Alberta's Child

I agree. Most of the ‘heirs’ are thinking only of having one’s cake and eating it too. Without the cost of having to take care of their parents.


8 posted on 12/16/2013 7:46:45 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer

I didn’t think you could keep anything. When the assets dwindle to nothing, Medicaid begins. Medicaid is triggered by everything running out.


9 posted on 12/16/2013 7:47:33 AM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Standing Wolf

So, requiring that folks with the means to pay for their own medical care actually do pay for their own medical care is extortion?


10 posted on 12/16/2013 7:48:27 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: AppyPappy

They won’t take a house, or a car, or attach earnings. But when you die, they go after what’s left, ahead of heirs, I believe.


11 posted on 12/16/2013 7:48:51 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Payback govt after death? Can you say redistribution of wealth? The Progs hidden agenda----decimates the trans-generational transfer of wealth which the Progs abhor.

GO AHEAD---DISCUSS THIS AROUND THE HOLIDAY TABLE Boobamba's got plans.....secret, nefarious plans for grampa/ma duped into Medicare/Aid. The BOOB can't get 'em to sign up on the flopola healthcare.guv website---so he's throwing hundreds of thousands onto MEDICAID------and all the costs of medical care will be charged back.

How can he do that? By slapping federal and state LIENS against signers' homes, and other assets. NOTE that the Obamacare con artists eliminated the ASSET TEST, (which would have prevented those with assets to even be considered for Medicaid coverage.

So those who now think, "Golly gee, my government loves me, Obama says I qualify for subsidized Medicaid care, I'll be well- taken care of"---have been suckered into a REVERSE ASSET LIQUIDATION FEDERAL MONEY GRAB......And, once in the hands of the Obama Chicago criminal hordes, all that money is untraceable.

======================================================

Obamacare con artists eliminated the ASSET TEST, (which would have prevented those with assets to even be considered for Medicaid coverage). Every person herded onto Medicaid signed away their entire estate to the govt. Heirs get nothing---everything goes to the state to re-coup the expenses incurred under Medicaid. The Obama criminals duped people into a reverse mortgage scheme......

Here's how it works.

The Obama con artists herded seniors WITH ASSETS onto Medicaid---a program specifically structured for the poor.

Herding sickly elderly with assets into Medicaid has ominous consequences intriguing to sap-happy leftists. B/c assets, perhaps a home owned free and clear, securities, annuities, investment property, can be seized to pay for govt treatment.

Thus intergenerational transfers of wealth (a longtime liberal/progressive bugaboo)----are decimated.

12 posted on 12/16/2013 7:49:42 AM PST by Liz
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To: afraidfortherepublic

This is all part of the plan... elimination of private property rights and rights of inheritance are Planks #1 and #3 of the Communist Manifesto.


13 posted on 12/16/2013 7:49:53 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Mr. Lucky

Money does horrible things to children. The scheme, rationalize, cajole and wheedle. That money in their parents’ home, their savings, etc. is THEIRS, and by damn, even if the rest of us have to usher the parents off to death on our nickel, they by damn better get theirs.


14 posted on 12/16/2013 7:50:31 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer

Most of the Obama supporters don’t worry about this because there typically isn’t anything to take.


15 posted on 12/16/2013 7:51:15 AM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

It is not elimination of private property. It is compensating the public for a debt incurred. Geez.


16 posted on 12/16/2013 7:51:20 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: nascarnation

That is true. But in ANY case wrt Medicaid, I believe the cost of managing one’s death at taxpayer expense should be repaid.


17 posted on 12/16/2013 7:52:24 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Liz
Thus intergenerational transfers of wealth (a longtime liberal/progressive bugaboo)----are decimated.

A federal deficit in excess of $20T is not an intergenerational transfer of wealth?

18 posted on 12/16/2013 7:53:21 AM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Gaffer

Yes, Medicaid is a welfare program, for the poor. If you’re not poor, but rather hiding assets and taking the benefits, and then your estate turns out to have money in it after all, the government claws that back.

Those are the rules of the game, hardly fine print and absolutely not new. If you depend on the government’s benefits, you play by the government’s rules.


19 posted on 12/16/2013 7:54:31 AM PST by babble-on
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I’ve been shouting this on this and other forums for months now.

Medicaid is a reverse mortgage on steroids and crack.


20 posted on 12/16/2013 7:54:38 AM PST by USCG SimTech (Honored to serve since '71)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Goodbye inheritance. The NWO style government in place is never satisfied.


21 posted on 12/16/2013 7:55:04 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: afraidfortherepublic

This isn’t limited to Washington State, it’s everywhere.


22 posted on 12/16/2013 7:55:17 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Gaffer

“The ride is free, but you can’t keep what you squirreled away unless you do it 3 years before.”

It’s 5 years now.


23 posted on 12/16/2013 7:55:22 AM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: Gaffer

I think they can force liquidation of a house if there is no one in it. We had to sell my mother’s condo.


24 posted on 12/16/2013 7:55:31 AM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Gaffer
It is not elimination of private property. It is compensating the public for a debt incurred. Geez.

You have no choice about going onto Medicare. You are forced onto it.

Geez.

25 posted on 12/16/2013 7:56:52 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Steely Tom

That’s an intergenerational transfer of DEBT.


26 posted on 12/16/2013 7:57:13 AM PST by Liz
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To: AppyPappy

“I didn’t think you could keep anything. When the assets dwindle to nothing, Medicaid begins. Medicaid is triggered by everything running out.”

A spouse is allowed to keep the home, take the Medicaid spouse off the deed and keep 75,000 in assets. The rest can be spent down for legitimate expenses like a car, pre-paid funerals, etc.


27 posted on 12/16/2013 7:57:46 AM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older.

The hell you say. There's no such thing as a free lunch? How many years did it take for you to figure that out?

Just out of curiosity, who have you been voting for all these years, Prins?

28 posted on 12/16/2013 7:57:47 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I’m not sure how this law eliminates private property rights. I think it’s a humane way to let elderly folks stay in their homes until they die. I don’t think you can have it both ways. Either the value of one’s home and other personal property needs to be figured into one’s personal assets before becoming eligible for Medicaid, or it needs to be done afterwards.


29 posted on 12/16/2013 7:57:51 AM PST by old and tired
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To: Liz

Intergenerational transfers are not ‘decimate’. One can still bequeath wealth to heirs legally and without taxes if you do it correctly.

My mother (God rest her soul) transferred a lot of money to her heirs legally and reported it. She wanted to give it to me and my sister, but we opted to have her transfer it to our children. It takes forethought and planning. Not waiting until you are on death’s bed.


30 posted on 12/16/2013 7:58:02 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

This is not Medicare. This law applies to Medicaid.


31 posted on 12/16/2013 7:59:14 AM PST by old and tired
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To: old and tired

Frankly, I think it is a good practice, if one can call anything ‘government’ good. Heirs will, of course, disagree.

But where were they when it came time to pony up hospital costs?


32 posted on 12/16/2013 7:59:19 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Alberta's Child
Dear Alberta's Child,

I think that perhaps, at least for some people, the issue is that some folks are being forced onto Medicaid, whether they like it or not, because they are low-income, but don't want to be on Medicaid. I read of an older woman in, I think, Washington state who could afford a DeathCare policy with subsidy, but because her income was so low, DeathCare wouldn't permit her to sign up for it, but threw her into Medicaid.

This was a woman with some assets (a house, if I recall correctly) that would pass to her children. She wanted to buy a policy that, with the subsidies, was affordable to her, thus at least contributing to her own health care, but was unable. She was forced by the system into welfare.

And the salt in the wound is that now, her assets will be lost to her heirs because she was forced to take welfare that she didn't want.


sitetest

33 posted on 12/16/2013 7:59:27 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
That's just remarkable.

Someone receives their medical care through taxpayer-funded assistance, and you stand up as a champion of "private property rights" and "rights of inheritance" when the taxpayers come back and ask to get reimbursed from the assets that remain after death? ROFL.

34 posted on 12/16/2013 7:59:52 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Let me guess. Government officials are exempt.


35 posted on 12/16/2013 7:59:57 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Standing Wolf

The phrase “force of law” needs to be clarified to a very fine point -

it is legal for them to put a gun to your head to make you comply with their will.

This should never be forgotten when it comes to “force of law”. It does indeed mean FORCE.


36 posted on 12/16/2013 8:02:27 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Gaffer
The ride is free, but you can’t keep what you squirreled away unless you do it 3 years before.

The "look back" period is now 5 years.

37 posted on 12/16/2013 8:02:50 AM PST by gdani (Excessive consumerism threatens Christmas more than someone wishing me "Happy Holidays")
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To: Alberta's Child
That's just remarkable. Someone receives their medical care through taxpayer-funded assistance, and you stand up as a champion of "private property rights" and "rights of inheritance" when the taxpayers come back and ask to get reimbursed from the assets that remain after death? ROFL.

You have no choice about going onto Medicaid. You are FORCED to go on it. All alternatives have been destroyed by the feral government.

It's just remarkable how much you despise individual freedom.

ILTKYA

38 posted on 12/16/2013 8:03:05 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Gaffer

After you die they can take your house, your car or your personal belongings. States differ in what they take.

They can even go after assets that by-pass probate, for example, real estate in joint name and joint or payable on death bank accounts.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-medicaid-recovers-the-cost-long-term-care-from-your-estate-after-you-die.html

Some heirs are going to be surprised and very angry wishing they had done in Aunt Tillie earlier.


39 posted on 12/16/2013 8:03:15 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Nice try. We’re not talking about Medicare here. It is Medicaid, usually for those who aren’t eligible for Medicare (i.e., no Medicare contributions from their paychecks) or just plain poor with no history, no assets (supposedly), etc.

Medicaid is government charity. It should be paid back if there are assets....

So, I’ll go with another ‘geez’


40 posted on 12/16/2013 8:03:38 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Texas Eagle

They wouldn’t be on Medicaid, so, yes, they are exempt.
They have their own special “benefit plans” that don’t have these provisions.


41 posted on 12/16/2013 8:03:44 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Gaffer
It astounds me that when a sick elerly person is thrown into Medicad...the children expect the assets....

I agree. They don't want to take care of Grandma now, so send her to the nursing home, where she'll stay alive until the estate is bled dry. And they still want that estate?

It's insane. If their generation had any common sense, they'd keep grandma in her home, and move in to provide TLC. That's free room and board, that Social Security check paying the expenses, and those retirement checks keep coming as long as they can keep the oldsters alive. The care situation?....guess again. Medicare will provide daily nursing assistance to keep that person out of the nursing home. Hospice does a good job, from what I've seen in the neighborhood.

Next transition, the kids get a mortgage-free house and some savings. It's a good deal (maybe the best they'll ever get), if people were able to grasp the concept of making choices.

42 posted on 12/16/2013 8:04:14 AM PST by grania
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To: AppyPappy
I think they can force liquidation of a house if there is no one in it. We had to sell my mother’s condo.

Yes, you have to at least put it up for sale.

43 posted on 12/16/2013 8:04:28 AM PST by gdani (Excessive consumerism threatens Christmas more than someone wishing me "Happy Holidays")
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To: Gaffer

“Government charity” is an oxymoron.


44 posted on 12/16/2013 8:04:36 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

NY may be angling to attach life insurance payouts for care costs. They have always been off limits, but I heard something awhile back that it was in the works to change that.

This is really disturbing as life insurance is not an asset, but is strictly voluntary and meant to help the surviving family members(in most cases)pay off outstanding obligations, funeral expenses and maybe have a bit left over to tide them over while they adjust financially.

In NY lottery winnings are subject to seizure if the winner has been on welfare. I think it’s 50% of the winnings not to exceed the amount the winner has received in benefits from NY, and may be the same (lottery winnings) percentage for people behind on child support too. I believe the welfare payback thing is in effect for ten years AFTER a person has ceased to be a recipient. I wonder if the winner would have to pay taxes on the full amount, or just the amount left after the state is paid back.

I have what I thought was a sufficient size burial policy for my father, but funeral prices have raised so much in the past five years that even pared down to the nitty gritty I will still come up short by at least a grand. Pop is on medicare, and I hope they don’t come after the little policy - if they do I’ll just have to leave Pop at the morgue and he will become a ward of the state.

Good damn thing I brought that burial plot for him back when I had a few bucks. That’s gone up by 25% also. At least the state isn’t coming after anyone for the value of the burial plots....yet.


45 posted on 12/16/2013 8:04:55 AM PST by Ladysforest
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To: sitetest
I could certainly sympathize with someone in that position, but there's no mention in this news story that this is the case here.

How does someone actually qualify for Medicaid if they are old enough to qualify for Medicare? Any input from Freepers who are familiar with these programs would be appreciated.

46 posted on 12/16/2013 8:04:55 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: Gaffer
You are right, poor folks should not be allowed to "own" a home. Private property is only for the wealthy. I put own in quotes since property taxes are so high one merely rents from gov these days.

Back in the day, before gov got into the health care business, poor folks could actually afford to see a doctor.

47 posted on 12/16/2013 8:05:59 AM PST by jpsb (Believe nothing until it has been officially denied)
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To: Alberta's Child

Remember back when Sen. Carol Browner, D-Illinois put all her mother’s assests in her own name before putting mommy in a nursing home?


48 posted on 12/16/2013 8:06:09 AM PST by dblshot (I am John Galt.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic; MrB; Mr. K; sickoflibs; Liz
The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said.

One more thing about Obamacare that hurts white people more...

49 posted on 12/16/2013 8:06:32 AM PST by GOPJ ("Remember who the real enemy is... ")
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To: ladyjane

I have no problem in the state (which also funds it) taking that part of a person’s property to recoup costs for providing death care. Any sane person should have taken care of that problem long before it became a problem. Yet, most just say “let the government take care of Aunt Tillie.”


50 posted on 12/16/2013 8:06:39 AM PST by Gaffer
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