Saturday, March 21, 2009

Insanity - thy name is government

Today's paper has an article about Carletta Huff, a widow on Medicaid and in assisted housing who won a $50,000 prize in the paper's Treasure Hunt contest.

The tone of the article is one of forewarning, but also sadness. What could be sad about winning $50,000? It's Ms. Huff's circumstances. The article details her spending habits which are frugal and appear wise. But under Medicaid rules, recipients must spend all of their prize money before the end of the month or lose their benefits. While she did spend a large amount of the funds, she didn't keep all the receipts and didn't spend it in the allotted time frame.

The insanity is that this government program encourages such spending in order to remain dependent on the system. But the real insanity is the decision made in the first place.

The main concern expressed in the article by Ms. Huff and her family is the $850 in monthly medications that are covered by Medicaid. She is in danger of losing that.

Perhaps I'm missing something. This woman has received $50,000. She set aside $10,000 for taxes, but that still leaves her enough money to cover her prescriptions for 47 months - nearly four years.

Why, instead of spending the money so she could remain Medicaid eligible, didn't she just forgo the Medicaid prescription coverage and use her winnings to cover the costs? I can understand making a few fun purchases with unexpected income, but considering the need, wouldn't she have been better off saving her funds for her necessary prescriptions?

That the government program penalizes her for thrift is no surprise. I've come to the conclusion that government really doesn't want to eliminate the need for programs, but does everything within its power to maintain dependency on the system. And Ms. Huff's thinking is the prime example of the 'training' government foists upon its dependents.

You see, there really wasn't a need for Ms. Huff to use the prize money for her needs because they are already being met by you and me through taxation for these government programs. As a result, knowing her housing and medication costs are being paid for by others, she spent the money on wants. And now she finds that the rules require such warped economic decisions.

This is insanity - and I cannot help but wonder how we've ended up with such a system.


toledo1 said...

I have a friend that accepted WIC after a troubled pregnancy left her unable to work for awhile. As soon as she was able to work again, she called and said she would no longer be needing assistance and they were stunned. In fact, the agency tried to talk her into keeping her aid and told her she had a year without anyone rechecking her status. She reexaplained that she only needed the assistance briefly until she could go back to work, and they continued with reminding her that she could and should receive aid until at least the end of her year. They said no one had ever called them to cancel their aid before that had to. Why would they not accept and appreciate that someone was being frugal about government money?

Maggie Thurber said...

toledo1 - my compliments to your friend!

But as I said in the post...I don't think the goal is to help people achieve independence. The government workers have jobs that are dependent upon individuals needing and staying on the public dole. Why would they encourage the rolls to decline? That might mean their jobs no longer be needed.

And then there are the politicians who gain votes by ever expanding the numbers of people enrolled and thus dependent upon said politicians for even more largesse.

It's why I use the term 'insanity.'

Tim Higgins said...


A dependent populace is, as you know, far easier to control. The insanity is not a Democrat or Republican thing, it is a Government Bureaucracy thing, with both parties guilty of feeding "The Beast".

2Bn11FA said...

The problem, as I see it, with any government "assistance" is that the givers (government employees) and takers don't understand where the government gets money to provide the assistance.

For every dollar spent by the government one dollar has to be TAKEN from a person that EARNED it.

The nasty secret that government hides is that it has no money without first taking it from the citizens who worked hard for it.

Until this simple idea is placed back into the minds of the citizens nothing will change.

Hooda Thunkit said...

To put it quite politely, Medicaid Mentality.

If you expect the government to take care of you, you play right into their (corrupt and slimy) hands...

Mad Jack said...

Two words: Gold Krugerrand.

I don't know how I'd end up in a situation like this, but if I did I'd launder the winnings through family or friends (they'd pay the tax and get a handling fee) and stuff the rest into gold or a mattress, saving it for a real emergency.

Yeah, I know that's immoral and I'm continuing to get money from the government that I don't need. Screw 'em. The government took money from me and wasted most of it. The rest got spent on projects and laws that I neither needed nor wanted. No, I don't feel guilty about it.

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