Government Entitlement Programs

On September 2, 2010 I posted a blog about how 1 in 6 Americans receive some sort of government aid and wanted to expand a little more on how these type of programs can be destructive to our nation and the individual/family who is receiving that aid. But first let me define the word "ENTITLEMENT/ENTITLED"

  1. (a)the state or condition of being entitled (b)a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
  2. a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group
  3. belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges
The following is a story about Bob in relation to an entitlement program called Medicaid (state/federal health insurance for the poor):

Bob's family NEEDS health insurance because they have two children that have special needs that require a lot of medical assistance and other programs. Bob is a full-time student and has a part-time job. His wife stays at home with the kids. Because Bob's income is very low he and his family has been on Medicaid for the last 5-7 years until recently.

I got a call from Bob the other day because he remembered that I sold supplemental insurance. He explained to me that he and his family was kicked off Medicad because his income was $15 too much per month. He is now shopping around for health insurance for him and his family. Not only were they kicked off Medicad, their Food Stamps may be in jeopardy as well...another entitlement program.

Our telephone conversation went something like this:

Bob: Betsy and I lost our Medicaid.

Me: Why?

Bob: I made $15 a month too much.

Me: That's frustrating.

Bob: I know! Now I understand why people don't work, if you work you lose benefits. There is no incentive for working.

Me: I'm sure something will work out.

Bob: I'm sure it will too. I'm figuring out the options, but it's frustrating. I can't afford to pay the $300 of student insurance for my family just because I made $15 too much. We could lose food stamps too. Why work and try and provide for your family when it is going to be used against you?

That! my friends is why government assistance programs CAN BE destructive to our nation and family. Bob and Betsy are...what's the word...assimulated?...into the system and have gotten used to the entitlement and now have no incentive to work because in his words, "why work and try and provide for your family when it is going to be used against you?"

It is destructive to the family because they have no motivation to work more and better their condition because they will lose benefits and be more costly causing them to always be dependent on the government. It is destructive to the nation because more and more people are receiving government aid...with more people in the system the more it costs the government. The more it costs the government the more the actual working class will need to pay (i.e. higher taxes) to keep the entitlement afloat. It is mathmatically unstainable and could eventually collapse the system.

You know what I wanted to tell Bob? I wanted to tell him to take some personal responsibility for your self and get a better job! Where's your pride? Bob has no problem receiving "free" assistance and will milk it as long as he can. In fact, I predict that Bob will start working less so he can again qualify for Medicaid because the other option costs too much.

If it were me, and it was me there for a few months when I got laid off and inbetween jobs, I'd be totally embarrased to receive any type of welfare/assistance. It made me so uncomfortable that I did everything I could to get another job so I wouldn't have to be helped. I felt that it was wrong because I was raised to believe that nothing is free and you can't get something for nothing.

It's a broken system. Don't get me wrong, I believe that these entitlement programs are important and need to be in place for people who really need it. But if people do need it there should be a plan put in place with a short time period for them to get back on their feet so they don't have to rely on these programs. Or have them give something back. John F. Kennedy comes to mind when he said, "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Other posts of interest:

Are We a Nation of Gullible Gulls?
1 in 6 Americans Receives Government Aid

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