I've paid into the system for most of my adult life, so it's no surprise that when I absolutely needed it I took advantage of it. But there are so many people out there in worse shape than I am who are on it who would also like to get off of it. There are those stereotypical people who work the system and stay on welfare all their lives. That's going to happen with any such system. But the vast majority of the people on public assistance don't want to be there. They want to be able to afford food and medical care on their own.
The other problem is there are too many people who are working who need public assistance but because they make "too much money" they can't get it. People are having to choose what bills to pay and what bills to put off just to put food on the table. The working poor can't afford food or medical care, and yet the government says they're not poor enough to need help. Yet they are.
There are people who need public assistance who can't get it. And there are people on public assistance who shouldn't be on it but are because they know how to work the system. How is this fair? We need to overhaul the public assistance. I don't believe we should do away with it. I've needed it and been grateful, if embarrassed, to have it. But we need to make it a fairer distribution of goods and services, so more people can be helped who need it and those that are abusing the system can be removed.
One of the first things I'd like to see implemented is drug testing for those who apply for public assistance. That way those who abuse drugs are taken off the system. I think the authorities should be alerted to their positive drug tests so the proper people can get involved to help the families. I don't necessarily think they should go to jail, but concentrated help to get them off of the drugs and back into being productive members of society should be implemented.
I think if there are children in the house, the limits for food and medical assistance should be different than if it's just adults in the house. I think the bar should be set lower for families with children, though I think it should be lowered for adults too. Just not quite as far.
I'd like to see programs like Medicaid made available to everyone, not just families with children and disabled adults. I'd also like the limit to be different because even now there are people with disabilities who are on permanent disability who "make too much" to get on Medicaid. Even if it's only by a few dollars, they can't get the help they need. And to get on Medicare for them takes two years unless they're in their mid 60's.
Get the help out there for people who truly need it, and get those people who are abusing the system off of it. That's my opinion on public assistance. I'd love to hear yours.