In China, the government is considering widespread implementation of laws that will require the adult children of seniors to provide care for their parents. These laws are based on filial piety.
According to Wikipedia, filial piety generally means "to be good to one's parents; to take care of one's parents; to perform the duties of one's job well so as to obtain the material means to support parents as well as carry out sacrifices to the ancestors."
There are filial-piety laws in the U.S. If you live in any of the following states, you may be subject to filial-responsibility laws: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
So, what does this mean?
Let's take a look at a recent case that highlights the impact of these laws. In May of 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the adult son of a woman who had received nursing care and treatment at a Pennsylvania facility for a period of six months was liable for her $93,000 bill.
The interesting part of this is that the court actually recognized that although the woman had other sources of payment, including a husband, two other adult children and a Medicaid application that was pending, the responsible son had the "means" to pay it and therefore, he was responsible for paying the bill.
Welcome to the new world of health-care payments based upon Old World philosophies!