Rebirth of Bill Against Medicaid Marriage Penalty in 2009


Written by Timothy A Carey

Timothy A Carey met with Wisconsin State Representative Roger Roth (Assembly District 56) at the end of January, 2009 regarding drafting a Bill against the Medicaid Marriage Penalty. The representative did agree to have a bill drafted.

Timothy A Carey and Wisconsin State Representative Stephen Wieckert started the first Bill against the Medicaid Marriage Penalty in the end of 2007. The bill didn’t pass.

And we Currently Medicaid policy states a person on Medicaid who is married must have combined assets of no more than $3000. So if someone on Medicaid gets married they cannot be on Medicaid until the combined assets are down to $3000.

Timothy said, “When someone is very disabled Medicaid is their only way to get the care they need.”

Using Timothy as an example, he has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, can only move his fingers & head slightly, and is on a ventilator 24/7. His nursing costs alone are over Three Hundred Thousand Dollars a year. If he gets married and his spouse has a decent job, he would have to go off of Medicaid until his spouse’s joint assets are down $3000. This wouldn’t take long because of medical costs. After this his Medical bills would be paid, but both of them would probably be dependent on the government for many other things like; welfare, food stamps, and housing assistance. In the event this bill would pass what the government would pay would only be for his medical bills and most likely his spouse would handle the rest.

Wisconsin Representative Roger Roth Assembly District 56
 Roger Roth
Wisconsin Representative
Assembly District 56

Timothy thinks, “Current law assumes people with disabilities aren’t interested in getting married or that they do not need to.”

Timothy feels passing this bill would bring hope. He said, “What I think it does is give hope that maybe someday I will and gives hope to others that, well, yes, I can get married eventually if I happen to find somebody even though the chances of finding someone is minimal.”

Wisconsin State Representative Stephen Wieckert said the following “Let’s allow them their pursuit of happiness in terms of getting married should they wish and let’s not have some kind of misdirected government policies prevent them from doing that.”

A WORD FROM TIMOTHY: I am working hard at spreading word of this bill through my website, the website, and individuals. Please let everyone know about this important bill. When the bill goes to committee is a good time for everyone to contact their local representative.

I have an idea to help the bill gain support. Once a hearing has been scheduled for the bill we should have a gathering of people who support the bill including groups, individuals, and legislators. There would be snacks and refreshments. I am reaching out for help.

To inform me of your support or to help with the gathering just e-mail me at