I warn you, this post may get preachy so if you're not in the mood, stop reading now.
I was on Facebook the other day and I saw this letter from a doctor about a Medicaid patient who came into his ER who had lots of fancy things and smoked and he didn't think she deserved to be on Medicaid. Snopes verifies it as true, and you can read the letter here. Just now, I saw a thing on Facebook that talked about if you have a cell phone and cable tv and a computer and a $400 car payment and are on public assistance that you're a leech.
I think we really have to be careful about making broad generalizations and snap judgments. There are definitely people who abuse the system but in this economy, there are plenty of people who work hard but are without a job due to lay offs.
I'm on public assistance I have a cell phone and a computer. No cable tv but I do have internet. No car payment either. Does that make me a leech? Well, I always feel slightly embarrassed if I'm holding my cell phone while I'm using my LoneStar cards. What the people silently judging me in line don't know if that I worked for T-Mobile so I got a great price on my cell phone. When I switched off my employee rate plan, I picked the cheapest plan I could. We don't even have data on our phones. I run off wifi and if we're out, well, I have no data. As for the computer, well it's a six year old Dell laptop that's had almost every single component replaced under it's 4 year extended warranty. I'm not sure how much longer it will keep running. Because I'll be taking online graduate courses, I'll need to get a new laptop come tax time. But I'll probably settle for the $200 laptop I saw at Wal-Mart. The internet is pretty much an necessity because almost everything requires that you apply online. Plus I'll be taking online college courses here soon.
I was always taught that "if a man shall not work, neither shall he eat." I got my first job at age 14, worked summers and breaks through high school and worked all the way through college I'm coming up on the 6 month anniversary of my layoff on Dec 22 (which is also my birthday, happy birthday to me). Trust me, I don't want to be on government handouts. I would rather have a steady job with decent pay but there are none to be found. I've been applying for teaching positions for 2 1/2 years now and haven't even received one phone call. At the end of August, I started applying for non-teaching jobs but I haven't heard anything back on those either. It's not that I'm not qualified. I have over 10 years of varied work experience ranging from customer service to retail to food service and catering plus I have a college degree in education. My husband is in the same boat but being older than me, he has it even tougher. Wal-Mart won't even call him for an interview.
For those of you who think that governmental health care is the greatest thing since sliced bread, obviously, you've never been on it. You're treated like scum. Seriously.
When I first moved to TX after I got married, I got pregnant almost immediately. I was between jobs so I went on Medicaid. Since I had just moved here, I had no doctor. I started calling doctors that said they took Medicaid and my conversation went something like this:
"Hi, are you taking new patients?"
"Yes, what insurance do you have?"
"Sorry, we're not taking new patients." click.
It took me a long time to find an OB/GYN and fortunately I found one that was Christian and he's a great doctor and I stayed with him even though his office was an hour drive after I got insurance.
Speaking of regular insurance vs. Medicaid, when I was having my second child, I was the only one in the maternity ward with private insurance. How did we know? Because my husband saw little signs that said "Medicaid" on them on the other rooms. I was also the only woman with a private room.
After I lost my job, T-Mobile was nice enough to pay two months of COBRA. And nice that was because COBRA for my family was $1300 per month. Definitely out of our budget. So, we applied for Medicaid when the COBRA ran out. The kids qualified. We didn't. Today, I have to take Zoé to the doctor. I've never been to this pediatrician before. You see, the place where I was taking her doesn't take Medicaid so I can't go to the pediatrician that we've been using for the past year and a half that we really like. Even finding a pediatrician was a bit of an ordeal. I'm having to do the same thing with dentists.
I should also add here that I could actually get on Medicaid. All I have to do is get pregnant. Kinda messed up, isn't it?
And don't even get me started on SNAP and WIC. I only do it because I don't want my babies to starve.
The bottom line is I DON'T WANT TO BE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE! I'm about to be handed a free masters degree because I'm TAA. If I was offered a teaching job today, I would take it and walk away from the degree. What Obama doesn't realize is that some of us DON'T WANT TO BE DEPENDENT ON THE GOVERNMENT! I don't want bread and circuses. It didn't work in Rome. It won't work in the U.S.
There, I've spoken my peace. For those of you reading this who are religious, please pray for my family. Thanks.