Holland man protests $47,000 bill from the state

HOLLAND, Mich. — Anyone driving down 9th Street in Holland has likely seen the signs in front of Fred Martin Jr.’s home.

Martin erected several signs on his lawn after the state sent him a bill for $47,000. The state said his deceased daughter’s estate owes $47,000. Martin is over his daughter estate. The home he lives in belonged to his daughter.

He fears the debt will make him homeless.

Martin depends on a tracheal tube to breathe. He has a hard time speaking.
He eats through a feeding tube attached to his stomach and takes several medications daily.
Diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999, Martin’s health has steadily declined.

holland signsHowever, he spent part of that time taking care of his ailing daughter.

“My daughter worked all her life. The last job she worked 24 years,” Martin explained.

His daughter, Margaret Goen, fell ill in 2007. She was diagnosed with
Pick’s disease. It’s “a rare neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive destruction of nerve cells in the brain.

Martin said he moved into his daughter’s home (his current home) and took
care of her until her death last October.

Goen also received medicaid assistance, and as the signs on his front lawn indicate, he said the state
wants $47,000 of that money back.

Again, Martin is now over his daughter’s estate. The most expensive item to her name is her home (his current home).

“I got no money. I’m a sick man. I guess I’ll be homeless, wouldn’t I?” Martin said.

Drivers can read Martin’s message. He said he saved the state hundreds of thousands of dollars by not placing his daughter in a nursing home.

In probate court documents, the Michigan Department of Community Health states that Goen was a recipient of Medicaid assistance.
Under state and federal law, the state is “required to recover certain amounts paid under the medicaid program from the estate
of the deceased.”

That amount in Goen’s case is $47,536 and some change.

FOX 17 spoke with the Michigan Department of Community Health spokesperson by phone.
We were told they will look into this specific case.

Martin said the attorney general’s office served him notice regarding the debt. A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said she will also look into the case.

Mr. Martin said he will continue his protest until the issue is resolved.

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17 comments

  • Mia

    Let the man live there tell he expires. Then they can have the dam house. WOW what the state wants they get . This story makes me sick. What is this world coming to. (Greed).

  • mk

    That’s all I keep saying this state is so worried about money they’ll let someone live in the street before they try to help them it’s a damn shame.

  • Linda Witherell

    Does the state of Michigan all way have to take someone money.When somebody worker hard to get some thing like a house..Than a person health get bad,than the state step in and take every thing you got.Who pay for the funeral,if the state did they did pay much.wow let the poor man go.There are other people who own the state money but never pay it back.

  • vicki d

    I got no money and I’m sick. Can I not pay my bills and keep my house? I will be homeless. You have to pay what you owe or be homeless. It’s how the world works if he doesn’t want to pay he can go live in a shelter. Everyone has a sob story it doesn’t mean you get to skip out on what you owe.

    • Debra

      Vicki, I pray you or yours never end up in his situation. I feel compassion for him, why not let him live out his days in comfort then let the state take the house ? He doesn’t owe the money … it was his daughter’s debt .

  • Three Monkeys

    Well, well, well. How many people know the facist state of Michigan tries to recover Medicaid money from the family of someone who dies? King Snyder need that money for his re-election? Of all the money this state has dished out to the wealthy and you pull this? Shameful. So glad I’m getting out of here soon. The politics and the teabillies drive decent people away. Elect Mark Schauer and this state will have compassion once again as long as you throw the rest of the cold-hearted republicans to the curb with King Snyder.

    • zooks11

      President Clinton’s 1993 federal budget mandated every state try to recoup Medicaid money spent on long-term care. Recouping Medicaid money is not new and your comment is ridiculous.

  • TiredofBS

    The state wants their money but every illegal can come to this state and is given a hand out. I am tired of the government looking out for everyone but their own.

  • jujuma

    Gov. Synder is a heartless man. I had experience with his politics when my husband fell ill and was in a nursing home. It was terrible. My husband was only 49 years old. It seems the State picks on the defenseless, the poor, the sick. I won’t vote Republican again because of Gov. Snyder and his policies.

  • jon

    Where do we find rest of this report. I want to research this matter. According to the news last night fox has a link posted to this law and how to determine home value?

  • sue

    Well I am telling you all this is a bunch of crap. I have known Fred for 50+ years. Margaret never has owned that house.. Fred has lived there as long as Ive known him . he has had 3 lawsuits that he won In the millions of dollars!! Trust me this is no poor man.. Maybe a sick one but defiantly not poor!! Someone want to check that out PLEASE do you will be surprised!!!!

    h