Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How Important Medicaid Food Stamps

Medicaid; Food Stamps; These are both vital government programs often vilified in today’s modern media.  They help thousands of people and cost thousands of dollars.  Yes, these programs cost money, a commodity many people are short of nowadays in the midst of recession, but they are an integral part of the framework of American society. Some people ask, “Why are these programs important? All they do is perpetuate the cycle of poverty and laziness.” But their inane assumptions are incorrect. Government benefit programs are important resources for helping people with financial difficulty.

Government benefit programs help to keep people afloat in financial situations that would otherwise drown them. For example, families that wouldn’t be able to afford the high prices of food at the supermarket can use food stamps to help sustain their livelihood. Programs essentially give people a much needed safety net to fall back on during hard times. In fact, almost as much as one-third of the United States periodically falls into hard times and believes they deserve help from the government.

Benefit programs maintain the long standing American culture of hope. This goes hand in hand with the characteristic of keeping people afloat. America has, for much of its history, been a place where people come to seek out a better life and to fulfill their dreams. Without the programs some people’s financial situations would restrict any chances for hope, which would disgrace the core foundational principles the United States were build upon.  The people would feel as if they were in an endless pit, trapped, with no way to escape, but with benefit programs the government removes some of the stress and feelings of despair.

Lastly, government benefit programs showcase compassion and heart of the United States to citizens of other parts of the world. Not all countries are able to help their poor and downtrodden and not all counties make a conscience effort to.  Countries like China, readily, aim to ignore their poor because it is economically profitable. Although every one may not agree with benefit programs, the existence of them represents dual party bipartisanship that many countries are unable to achieve (most counties do not operate under the two party system however the idea of difficulty of the cohesion of parties remains the same)  .

While these programs do spur positive ramifications, they could use extensive reform. All government benefit programs need to practice strict means testing. Recipients of programs would need to complete a thorough interview process consisting of paperwork and one home visit.  This requirement would reduce the amount of people abusing government programs when they have the ability to take care of themselves without assistance. Additionally, some programs should also be downsized to only provide for the disabled and families with dependents such as children or older people. This is because individuals with sole responsibility for themselves should be more able to find jobs and necessary education because they have more flexibility with time.

Overall, the United States has a sufficient and efficient benefit system. Poverty in America, while still makes for an austere living lifestyle, is much more comfortable due to these programs. The United States should to strive it best to try and preserve and improve the integrity its government benefit systems in order for future struggling generations of Americans to be able to partake in the same programs as their predecessors.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Why Are Government Benefit Programs Important Resources for Helping People with Financial Difficulties?

There are many good, honest, hardworking people in our nation.  These people come from all walks of life.  There are some people who come from well to do families and then there are those who come from a life of poverty.  One thing that most have in common is that they want to improve their life and be a contributing member of society.  These people attain the best education they can so they can work in a career that will support themselves and their families.  However, circumstances don’t always work in favor of these hardworking individuals.  They sometimes fall on hard times and struggle to make ends meet.  Reasons can range from tough economic times to severe illnesses.  Whatever the reason, these people find themselves in difficult financial situations and in serious need of assistance.

There are several resources that struggling people can use to help make ends meet.  Some people can get assistance from relatives, borrowing money until they can get back on their feet.  Others have the means to obtain small loans to pay for their necessities.  However, there are those who either don’t have access to or have exhausted these resources and must turn to the state or federal government for assistance.  Depending on the individual’s circumstances, they can qualify for programs such as Food Stamps; Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Social Security or Medicaid.  All of these programs are targeted at providing specific assistance to individuals, but they all have the same goal, to help individuals and their families in need.  These programs are extremely important.  The Food Stamp program can help families buy groceries so they food to eat.  WIC is similar in that in provides families with items such as baby formula, milk and cheese.  Without these programs, sadly, many people would go hungry.  The Medicaid program helps low income families with a means to obtain medical assistance, you can learn more at  Medical insurance is extremely expensive and when these families have medical needs they shouldn’t have to be denied service because they can’t afford it.  Medicaid fills that gap to ensure that illnesses and emergencies are treated.

These programs have obvious benefits to the people they’re designed to serve.  However, these programs don’t have unlimited funding.  They must be budgeted for each year and then have to function within that budget.  One of the problems that these programs have encountered since their inception is that some people are signing up for and using resources from them when they aren’t entitled to do so.  It’s very unfortunate that we have people in this country that manipulate and take advantage of these extremely valuable resources.  These individuals would rather live off of these programs instead of finding employment.  This is a well-known problem.  I believe the best way to protect and preserve these programs for the people who really needs and deserves them is to provide better enforcement.  Through better enforcement, programs can keep people from receiving benefits that don’t qualify for them.  I also believe that these programs should be managed in such a way that incentivizes individuals to get off of them as soon as possible.  For some people it’s much easier stay unemployed and draw benefits than it is to get a job and support themselves.

It’s undeniable that government programs are vital to the people of our nation.  Many descent people will continue to find themselves in financial hardship.  They deserve to have assistance provided to them for a finite period of time in an effort to help them get back on their feet.  And we owe it to our fellow citizens to provide that assistance.  However, we, as a country, just can’t keep sustaining these programs when they’re being taken advantage of.  We need to ensure that the people truly in need are the one’s getting access to these resources.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Simplest Frugal Living with Medicaid

Government programs are not only important, but are extremely essential for low-income populations. History teaches us that there has never been a straight line of economic stability in society, and currently, economic gaps are getting larger each year. We saw this through the Great Depression, and then another recession after the Cold War, and again just a few years ago when the stock market crashed once again. The majority of the population throughout the United States cannot afford to invest money in money markets, let alone, deliberately lose whatever little money they have.

Just like my family was in need of assistance once, it is essential for survival. I too come from a low-income family and we had to be on assistance for a long time. We were not trying to take advantage of the system deliberately, but the circumstances we were in were not ideal for us not to take that opportunity. My parents, because of their lack of education, were only eligible for minimum wage earnings, and sometimes had to work two jobs just to make ends meet. We were on food stamps for a long time, and that alone alleviated some of the pressure for sustenance. My brother is also disabled and because of that, he qualified for daycare assistance as well. Life couldn’t get better for him. He was able to meet others with similar disabilities thus enabling him to supersede many expectations within his capacities. His speech vastly improved and so did his social skills. None of this would have been accomplished if we didn’t have assistance.

Like us, there are many other families in need. Yes, there are many others that do take advantage of tax dollars to sustain themselves only through assistance, but there are many more that really need this. One thing I would do different to improve the system is allow assistance only for a certain period of time and assign social workers to these families. These will then work directly with families in need and assist them with other programs which would not only help them improve their living conditions, but give them back their sense of self-worth and dignity. Living in harsh conditions is not easy, and one will never understand what it is like unless you experience what they have. Not being able to find a job due to lack of education is not always their fault. Many times it is due to circumstances out of their control and they need just a push to get them out of the hole and get back on their feet. I feel the same way with scholarships or grants. More often than not, these are provided based on merit, and not by necessity. If a student who went to a school with limited recourses cannot then perform at higher standards like others, they get denied the opportunity to a higher education. They are left at a disadvantage from the very beginning thus continuing with the educational, social, and economic gap.

Again, I strongly believe that by partnering these families and giving them a more personalized attention to their needs, we can help them cut costs of providing for things that are extra and concentrating on issues that need to get fixed. Not only will this benefit them by competing for better jobs, opportunities for education, stability and picking themselves up with dignity, but also, we will see the results in costs of assistance programs in comparison to what we have now.