Opinions concerning food stamps/Medicaid/WIC exceed those of piercing the ears of babies and the joy of Xboxing as expressed by Capt. Von Trapp. Who knew? The post also registered the best name-calling comment ever: I'm a Cyber Commoron. Well played. Even Hyrum Steed can’t top that. (Natalie, you could use that as the link for my blog!)
In the midst of writing the previous post it was apparent a follow up post would be needed; Paula emphasized this as the comments piled up, concerned about the brash approach and potential ramifications amongst friends and associates. The comments (if you haven’t read them all, I highly encourage you to) were insightful and branched out from food stamps, engendering questions – which comments, by the way, are much appreciated – regarding other forms of government welfare.
Ames Family and Anonymous: no worries about arguing. I see nothing wrong with an honest one. Today’s world treats the expression of a firm opinion or argument as taboo because it might offend; hence, many important topics aren’t discussed at depth and we sojourn on in shallow, meaningless drivel. Dissenting (sincere) comments are more than welcome. Just another reason I’ll always allow anonymous comments, never go private or delete a comment (unless it’s crude, vulgar, or damages my ego).
Now, on with the show.
The use of Medicaid and WIC (Women, Infants, Children) usage when young and in school was mentioned several times. I’ll give my opinion on each separately, starting with Medicaid/Medicare.
Health insurance provided by universities are generally expensive and what is covered still puts a lot back on the individual; in case of emergency you could be staring at a $10k-plus bill. Those types of bills are no fun when it’s for something you plan on, much less when it’s unexpected.
That being said, my thoughts about Medicaid are the same as food stamps. My reasoning for placing the two together is because they are built upon the same premise –it is acceptable for Party C to take (forcefully) from Party A and distribute to Party B as C feels appropriate. The fundamental approach of the system is a corrupt (meaning “to alter from the original or correct form or version”) form of welfare or charity and my its very nature encourages abuse.
An indulgent personal experience.
Shortly before being married I had an emergency appendectomy. I had no insurance, was recent college grad and had been working for about 3 months (I was a contract employee and expensive health care was my only option, which I opted out of); much to my chagrin, the hospital bill and associated fees were in excess of $22,000. I didn’t qualify for government aid because I had a job, which I thought ironic since every paycheck had money taken from me for Medicare/Medicaid. Many stressful days, letters, phone calls and negotiations later I ended up with bills totaling just under $5k.
I had the best intentions to stay debt free – never had one once of debt up to that point and not because of mommy and daddy’s pocketbook – but a service was rendered in which my life was saved. What right did I have to expect someone else to foot this bill? Or to have the doctors and nurses to eat it just because I wasn’t planning on it? Nope. I’m not entitled to that just because I exist and happen to be honest. So it was necessary to do some footwork and work the bill down and then pay it.
Serious introspection would show misplaced priorities. Some people are willing to take on debt for furniture; many will take on the beast when purchasing a vehicle; I know of no one who paid (their own) cash for their first home. None of these things are essential to our survival. So why is our expectation to have the government prevent us from debt when our lives are preserved with surgery or medical intervention or when a beautiful child comes into this world? Should we only go into debt for what we want, not what we need? Such expectations are naive and indulgent.
Regarding WIC…toss it in with the other two. Or place it gently with them. Either way that is where it belongs, for the premise upon which means are provided is corrupt and encourages abuse. Instead of going to and expecting our government to fund the bill, how about family? Parents, brothers and sisters. If there is not sufficient in these resources, what about the church? Having served as the Executive Secretary in our last ward, I know first hand that food orders and assistance is provided. Generously provided.
While serving in this position, there were many who asked for help when they were spending money on cable TV, movies, eating out, clothing from places other than Goodwill or DI, pet food, etc…and were hesitant to give up these things to make ends meet. It’s would be like me refusing to give up my Xbox Live membership while there are bills I can’t pay. It’s self-centered and arrogant.
I’ll have to disagree with Zach’s (tongue-in-cheek) comment – the Constitution makes no provision for keeping up with the Jones’s. Nor should it. When entitlement of comfortable living becomes our norm, stripped away is choice and accountability, replace with the chain of bondage to our provider. Sounds like the plan of someone a long, long time ago. And we know how that ended. There’s only one Provider I want to be indebted to for my existence.
And there your have it: my opinions regarding government assistance.
Let it be clear I have no problem with charity or welfare when administered correctly. Careful reading of both posts will reveal no opposition of giving/getting help. Never. I get significant tax breaks with of the percentage of my income that goes to charity. I’m not bragging or trying to be self-righteous. It just needs to be clear I give and give without compulsion.
What makes me Stampin’ Mad is the pseudo-charity created by compulsory means – forcing A to give to C, who then decides how it will be used for B. True, honest, sincere welfare is created by individuals who want and are willing to give, not forced to. In this way both the giver and receiver are blessed temporally and spiritually. And this charity does exist. (Some examples.)
Here’s the real question:
Why turn to government for assistance? Why turn to a source that cares and knows nothing about you instead of turning to those with our best interests at heart and love us? Probably because government is faceless; the government won’t see us sitting outside the bishop’s office and leaving with a food order; because we don’t have to face the government at family events.
Speaking personally, it requires a lot of humility to approach those who know me best and love me with my hand out for help, admitting that I’m not making it my own. Something faceless and removed is easier because there is no connection, no bond. But maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, if this gets any longer no one will read it.
In summation, those commenting who have used Medicaid or WIC, I don’t think you’re manipulative or lazy. I wanna make that clear. If you were, I think there’d of been CURSING IN
My hope is everyone will reexamine where we go for help and what the cost is. When we go to those who give willingly, the only thing we surrender is our pride and vanity; when we go to that which gives through force, we lose our freedom and our agency. Is it even possible a system that forcefully takes from one to redistribute to another can be good and moral? Hopefully, if situations arise in the future where help is needed, this corrupt system will not be the source we turn to.