Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Please Stop Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth

I've been thinking a lot about the government funded programs such as the Nutrition Assistance Program (more commonly known as food stamps), housing assistance, child care assistance and medical insurance. I've been participating in some of these programs for the past three years and have some very strong feelings on the matter. My family has been extremely blessed to receive assistance with both food costs and health insurance. When my daughter was born she spent four days in the NICU and several months later was diagnosed with a urinary reflux after spending several days in the hospital. All of her medical treatment and medication was covered through AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System). At the time I was a single mother working full time and going to school full time. Needless to say these services were greatly appreciated.

Earlier this year I had surgery after having a miscarriage. The procedure would have costed over a $10,000, but because I qualified for AHCCCS we didn't have to pay a dime. My husband works full time and is a part time student and I am a full time student. There have been times in our lives, like many other young families, when we simply didn't make enough money to meet our family's needs.

It's not always easy to meet deadlines and verification requirements for the Department of Economic Security. I recently spent seven hours in a DES office only to be told to return later with more documentation for my case. I'll admit, it can be a bit of a hassle to complete case work. However, in the end it is completely worth it. SO HERE IS MY ISSUE----> Every time I am at a DES office the room is flooded with vulgarity, whining and complaining from fellow benefit recipients about the job performance of DES employees and the program in general. Persons waiting in line are openly demanding and angry. Does anyone else see a problem with this? I am frankly appalled that people have the nerve to complain about the FREE services they are receiving. Because they are required to submit paper work for verification and visit an office for a few hours they seem to forget how their welfare benefits are made possible. Hard working American citizens tax dollars grant the underprivileged an opportunity to make their own lives better. Nobody owes them anything. They are lucky to be U.S. citizens. Considering the THOUSANDS of dollars that one individual may receive or save each year, they should be very grateful. I suggest they educate themselves on the welfare programs of such country's as the Republic of the Congo or some other wore torn nation. Maybe then they will appreciate the luxury's of a U.S. citizen. I personally consider myself extremely lucky to live in a country that will recognize my families needs and will offer help if ask.

I am also aware that I am part of a greater purpose. Meaning, I am a U.S. citizen who has an obligation to be productive and contribute to my community whenever possible. As I previously mentioned I am a full time student and working towards bettering my future. I do not consider government benefits a long term solution. When I achieve my goal of becoming a registered nurse, I will have the chance to give back to my country/fellow working citizens, by paying sufficient taxes on my wages.

I know welfare programs are a touchy subject, but anyone participating in a government assistance program should be very careful not to take for granted the gifts they receive. In other words, if you're sticking your hand out, you should probably keep your mouth shut.

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