Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How Important Government Health Programs

Government benefits were put in place to help people with financial difficulties. They were developed to help American citizens become more financially stable and healthy. Programs such as Medicaid give people, who cannot afford health insurance, government assistance so the sick can pursue the treatment they need. Disaster Relief is another form of government benefits that can help those affected directly through FEMA and indirectly with reimbursement, crime compensation, and loans. Government benefits also affect education through programs that reimburse schools and educational organizations for providing their children with healthy meals. Benefits come in many forms from the government and do serve their purpose of helping those in need of financial assistance. Problems do start to arise when money is distributed in the wrong places or when there is not enough aid for those who really need it. Luckily, these problems can be solved and government benefits can become more efficient and cost effective giving assistance to those in need.
With the many programs the government has to offer, it is best to focus only on a couple of programs in order to solve their problems in detail. A hot topic within the past years has been disaster relief efforts and funds. Due to the major hurricanes, such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, much focus has been put on this government benefit. The government can provide benefits to those in areas of concern, like the coast, in the form of insurance. Insurance can be given as a precautionary measure to farms and homeowners to help with the cost of rebuilding. Loans can also be given to those who need more funding for rebuilding or repairing damages to their homes or crops. Reimbursement and crime compensation fall into the same category of financial help. FEMA is also a large part of the government’s direct response program. Recent disasters have shed light on more than a few problems within the governments’ disaster programs. When disaster strikes, the government is slow at getting money to where it needs to go; the money is not going to the right places and money given declines as public interest declines. These problems can be fixed in a few crucial ways.
Before disaster strikes, the government needs to evaluate certain areas at risk whether it’s the coast lining the Gulf of Mexico or the states within tornado alley. Funding the use of tornado proof windows or fortifying the wetlands and coasts can greatly diminish the damages from hurricanes and tornadoes. There needs to be a better system for the distribution of money. This way the organizations that need money will get it and the money will not decrease with public interest. Disbursement of money to Non-Government Organizations and first responders is a must. Disaster organizations within the community should also be funded and established. The people who are able can help the relief effort through these government-funded organizations. All of these measures can help reduce the amount of money that needs to be disbursed when a disaster strikes.
Other government benefit programs focusing on nutrition, such as food stamps and WIC, are also very important in helping people with financial difficulties. Food stamps and WIC are both temporary benefits that people in need can take part in where certain foods can be bought and paid for by the government. Food stamps can pay for a variety of different foods that can sustain a household. The amount given is dependent on the need and size of the family. WIC is a program that applies to mothers who need government support in feeding their children. These programs temporarily subsidize families’ food budgets. With the burden of paying for food taken off their plate, families in need can focus more on paying bills and making their finances more stable. The only problem with these nutrition benefit programs is the food stamps. Food stamps have moved from a coupon method to money on a card. Money is deposited on the cards at the beginning of every month. When people initially receive assistance, they do not budget their money. There should be a budgeting system set in place for people on food stamps so the money does not go to waste. The money should also only be used for food. Food stamps should move to a more WIC based system where there is a limit on what foods one can buy. A clear definition of acceptable foods should also be established so money is not wasted on unhealthy and unnecessary consumables. This will help move the people, who are abusing food stamps, in a more limited direction. Food stamps and WIC are temporary and need-based programs, and should be treated as such.
Government benefit programs are meant to help people in need. When these programs begin to be abused, or are not working in an efficient way, a change needs to be made. Specifically, nutrition and disaster-based government benefits can be changed to be more efficient in order for government spending to be directed into other areas. With government funding becoming tight, these changes are needed now more than ever.

Monday, May 19, 2014

We Should Study on How to Use Medicaid Planning to Fund Long Term Care

Government benefit programs are important resources to help people with financial difficulties because they provide assistance in the form of telephone service, food, and medical care, among other things. Those who are genuinely unable to support themselves and/or their children due to circumstances outside of their control should be allowed to benefit from this type of government assistance. This type of assistance is critical in maintaining the stability and well being of people in need. It is important for us, as a society, to help those less fortunate and provide them with a certain level of security that they may not otherwise have.  The purpose of these programs is to provide the support families need to get through rough patches and allow them the opportunity to get back on their feet, so to speak. For more information visit

However, it seems as though these government programs are easily taken advantage of and have been exploited by many which places an undue financial burden on those who are not in need of government assistance.  In order to improve and minimize the abuse of these programs, tightening up the eligibility requirements for participation would appear to be in order.  For example, those receiving assistance in the form of telephone service, food, medical care, etc. should be required to make every effort possible to limit the amount of time and the extent to which they are dependent on these resources. The expectation and verification of attempts to acquire job skills and gainful employment should be mandated as well as the expectation and verification of a drug free lifestyle. Where appropriate, restrictions should be placed on the level of assistance provided.  Food stamps should have a spending cap and medical care and telephone service should be temporary and closely monitored to ensure appropriate use.  These programs need to be offered as a means of short-term relief and geared towards fostering independence and accountability while encouraging all of us to be ethical and as productive as possible in working towards the common good. 

Government benefit programs are good resources for people in need.  When people legitimately need them, they serve a vital function.  They are a safeguard against families being unable to meet their needs for food, housing, and medical care.  These programs are also costly though and need strict regulations and ongoing monitoring to successfully achieve their objectives.  Changing the perception that programs, such as the ones identified here, are merely ways to allow those who do not wish to help themselves to receive government assistance is imperative.  There are so many government benefit programs available to assist those in need and there are many positive aspects of these programs.  However, I think the pros of these accessible resources are often overshadowed by the misuse and negative connotations associated with them.  Therefore, it is essential that those responsible for overseeing this facet of our local, state, and federal governments work to identify the loopholes that currently exist in how and by whom government benefit programs are utilized and develop ways in which to better and more consistently implement these programs as they were intended.  Doing so would likely increase the sustainability and longevity of government assistance programs so as to assure long-term maintenance while also promoting self-sufficiency and autonomy.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Does The Government of Your State Accept Medicaid For Assisted Living Facilities?

I was reading The New York Times one afternoon and I came across an incredibly moving yet troubling story, “Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life” by Andrea Elliott. The story focused on Dasani and her family’s life in a Brooklyn homeless shelter; it made me aware of the problems homeless people face, especially children, through no fault of their own. She and other homeless children  face sexual assault, foul play and malnourishment through no fault of their own. I, therefore, think that government benefit programs are necessary in providing these financially disadvantaged a somewhat creative means of distributing aid, so that those not in control of their financial situation, like Dasani, can live, meaning not to wake up, eat, and sleep in deplorable filth, but rather wake up to look in the mirror, noticing that life is not destined to wallowing in filth, but to a higher status, one that, sooner or later, will prove achievable.
Firstly, waking up to experience a healthy life is many times an aspect overlooked by Americans. Many of us, when sick, can easily find assurance from a physician. Though if no reassurance is available because the doctor can’t be paid or if the doctor is not there, then what? Money should not be a reason why one human being can has a higher chance at life than another. Thus, Medicaid and other low-income health services are crucial to our society. Meanwhile, doctors need to remain efficient in dealing with illnesses of the financially troubled and performing their jobs efficiently, such as keeping Medicaid clinics open so patients don’t lose health through no fault of their own. However as the capacity to grow healthier ever increases, simply visiting a doctor becomes less than enough. As the doctor should acknowledge, we now need to supplement our visits with something so commonly told to us as children, and that is to eat right.

However, with financial troubles, having something to eat is a question of itself. Imagine, waking up and going about your day with anxiety and worry about what you will eat later, or worse, whether you will eat. Thus, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is fundamental not only in providing food, but also in providing relief to hundreds of people, as it did for Dasani. Meanwhile, the capacity to grow and mature healthily also increases; this subsequently increases the chance of the ultimate goal of these governmental assistance programs: support the financially troubled and push self sufficiency.

With these government assistance efforts yield, unfortunately, issues in execution on the government’s part.
Government assistance is always subject to seemingly arbitrary budget cuts. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for instance, may eventually face budget cuts because the economy will do poorly one fiscal year.

The same principle applies to Medicaid, Head Start and other programs, hurting many homeless, especially children, as they can do nothing of these financial issues. Meanwhile, a more personal account of distribution of government assistance than the federal government’s handling of government assistance is the state’s handling of government assistance. So why don’t states handle government assistance? Also, why doesn’t the state make sure that it, to maximize creativity in dealing with specific government aid conundrums and discrepancies, hires qualified sympathetic officials ready to advocate on a troubled individual’s behalf when necessary?

For the most part, troubles on the government’s side of distribution deals with negligence and unreadiness; a keen eye and preparation are necessary to take charge and create reform.

We clearly see how the distribution of wealth is unequal and, as long as we retain a capitalist economic structure, will remain so; we should not remain oblivious. The financially troubled should be aided in getting back on their feet and feel as though they can contribute to an ever growing economy and not feel distrustfully dependent on it, thinking that they’ll never rise from decrepit shelters with meager food supplies. Mending inconsistencies in government programs requires an effort on two fronts: the government and the recipients; one front will not be successful in bringing about reform if the other party does not contribute. The government can have a huge budget, however the money needs to be spread about creatively so that it does the most good; that requires conscientious government officials in all forms of government aid. Dasani found sympathetic public school officials in her first public school through afterschool programs and flourished, but had to leave because her homeless shelter did not adequately keep her or her family safe. Meanwhile, those receiving aid must use the aid efficiently. Part of the reason why Dasani suffered so much is because her parents, who were receiving aid like food stamps, were not using the aid they received efficiently, but were spending it on other things. Thus, if both parties work in tandem for reform, we will experience an America prospering beyond our wildest expectations.