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On the other thread they were starting to talk about how they'd change Government Assistance.

So how would you do it? What part would you change and why?
 
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I would make food stamps more like WIC. Instead of being given a card and allowed to get whatever you wanted at the grocery store I'd have checks printed out that said you can get a certain kind of cereal, a certain kind of milk, etc. Add in produce and some meat (again, specify which cuts, etc). I would also make the recipient attend classes on budgeting, nutrition, and basic fundamentals of getting and keeping a job, unless they are in college. Want more food? Then you can volunteer so many hours a month and 'extra' things like ice cream, pastiries, etc can be earned.


For those who want to work but can't find jobs, I would make a program like the TVA or the CCC where you can do some sort of community building work. There's always trash to be picked up, grafitti to be scrubbed or if you have a skill, you can either implement it somewhere or teach others your skills. Carpenters can teach carpentry classes, etc.
 

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Tonya said:
I would make food stamps more like WIC. Instead of being given a card and allowed to get whatever you wanted at the grocery store I'd have checks printed out that said you can get a certain kind of cereal, a certain kind of milk, etc. Add in produce and some meat (again, specify which cuts, etc). I would also make the recipient attend classes on budgeting, nutrition, and basic fundamentals of getting and keeping a job, unless they are in college. Want more food? Then you can volunteer so many hours a month and 'extra' things like ice cream, pastiries, etc can be earned.


For those who want to work but can't find jobs, I would make a program like the TVA or the CCC where you can do some sort of community building work. There's always trash to be picked up, grafitti to be scrubbed or if you have a skill, you can either implement it somewhere or teach others your skills. Carpenters can teach carpentry classes, etc.
Ditto. Provide more daycare that is educational while mom/dad work/go to school.

Instill more proactive mandatory classes in Jr Hi on family, child care, how to avoid poverty, top 10 reasons for the latter, etc.

Patty
 

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Food Stamps: No handing out money (or stamps/cards). The recipient has to come weekly and pick up the requisite amount of healthy foods (beans, rice, canned veggies and fruits, and meat 2-3 times a week) and the accompanying cookbook. At the same time, they can be handed toilet paper, toothpaste or soap if needed. If the family has a birthday that month they can be given a cake mix and some frosting, too. In exchange, they have to donate an hour per week per family member in some sort of charity work, and their kids have to be in school regularly and have signed teachers statements that they are being helped with their homework and the parent is involved in the schooling. (home schoolers - of which I am one - could have a public school teacher check the progress with strict guidelines)

TANF/AFDC - No checks! Pay the rent directly to the landlord and the utilities directly to the company. When I was a kid, the neighbor had long term foster kids and he got vouchers every three months that he took to the Salvation Army store and got clothes for them (the vouchers would be for 1 pair of shoes, 3 pair of pants, etc for a 10 Yr old boy). See above for toilet paper and other necessities. Also, require them to attend classes like WIC does so that they can learn to care for themselves better.

Medicaid - this is a big one. People on Medicaid have the best insurance in the country that I know of. Here, they get two dental cleanings a year and braces if the dentist says they need them (including for self esteem issues!), a yearly eye exam and glasses, as many well care visits as their doctor reccommends, and every other doctor visit free. The adults have a $1 co-pay for prescriptions and a $2 co-pay for office visits - children are totally free. Don't you wish you had that good of insurance?

Cut the dental to one cleaning a year, fillings and pulling. No braces unless they are physically, medically necessary to chewing.

Keep the vision and glasses.

Make them go to the health department for well child care and shots.

I am not sure what to do for sickness....I want to say charge them half the visit if they go unnecessarily, but I don't want children suffering if the parents are afraid to go. Maybe make them go to free clinics run by universities (we have one of those in the next town).

Maybe get a second opinion regarding ongoing prescriptions like Ritalin. Or charge a higher co-pay for those who smoke, drink, or are overweight.

Only buy the absolutely necessary medical equipment and loan the rest. When my grandmother needed a hospital bed medicare told us we could buy it, or they would provide one for her to use and then give back after she died. Why can't wheelchairs and things be the same? Why buy someone a pair of crutches they need for 6 weeks when you can loan them a pair - so what if they aren't pretty?

And lastly....this gets me in trouble every time I say it....when someone has a baby on welfare, offer each (Not force them - just offer it) biological parent $5000 cash to get sterilized. It would not count against their welfare and would be free for them to decide. The reason I say this is because when we volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center I was constantly hearing "I didn't want another kid, it was an accident" Those women could not, or did not, use reliable birth control. We had one lady that had 5 kids on welfare and claimed she didn't want any of them.

Don't know, but there has to be a way to cut the costs and make it not so desirable.
 

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a lot like you Tonya. I find it sad when you see people go through lines getting lobster with food stamps or a whole lot of junk food. Like sugar this and sugar that and box after box of cans of pop. Then sugar loaded cereals, donuts, white bread and other unhealthy things. Lots of empty calories and then tax payers have to pay for the kids Ritalin when a diet change would be easier and cheaper. I remember when we were growing up and my parents had food stamps, they coudln't purchase pop with them. I'd love to see a limit of what types of foods can be purchased with them so that kids were eatting healthy foods with them.

I also notice there are a lot of parents who buy food with food stamps and then turn around and return pop cans and use their refund to buy booze and what money they have buys cigarettes too. (in michiganits 10 cents a can so if you buy lots of pop with your food stamps you can then turn around and buy booze when you return your cans and use your deposit refund and in essence you still buy your booze with food stamps)

I think volunteer work would be nice too.
 

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Alot of people take advantage of the system. I am not ashamed of stating that we get some assistance with food stamps, but I work full time, and my husband is disabled and has not yet to get dissability. I have 3 wonderful children and we scrape to get along someties. We have rent, utilities and things but we have made sure to not have other unnecessary bills such as credit cards or car payments. It just aggrevates me when I know of people who have 4 or 5 kids dont work and wont look for work and there is no reason they cant work and they get cash assistance and food stamps. I feel if you are not willing to work or try to improve things then you should not get any type of assistance. People go through hard times I understand, but almost anyone could get a job at Mc Donalds which is better than nothing at all.
I would make them work but the reason alot do not work is if they work they get cut down to little or no assistance. i would continue the same amount of assistance for a few months to help them get on their feet again as long as they kept work or going to school.
my huband and i love to garden and we sell alot of our produce from our back yard garden as well as our canned goods.they ought to give people a section of unused land they can raise a garden on because alot of people especially in the city have no yard at all. People could benefit from their own produce and teach their children the value of growing your own food. they could have classes on how to can etc.
We can anything from vegies to deer meat that help us cut down alot on our food costs year around plus its healthier.they dould do so much besides just GIVE STUFF OUT for free. Make people show that they are willing to do things to help themselves.
 

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Lots of people that use a cane or walker and wheelchairs some of us are just happy that we can walk that day, So what happens if it a day you have to go in and do something in order to get the food needed but you are bedridden So what then yor family straves that month? Believe me I know what I speak my good days are about 10 a month.
 

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I am speeking of those who are abled boddied to do things. I understand that some people such as my husband has good days and bad days. some days he can barely walk. I am saying those who have healthy bodies and are able to work and do thing s but just choose not to.
 

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The very first this would be to cut out all corporate hand outs and bail outs .If a company cant mangage without federal funding they can fold and one that will manage properly can take their place . No more subsidizing greed .
I like the wic program idea for the food that makes sense.
for housing etc , community service , even for the food stamps no free rides .
require education period If your not working you better be in school , if you allow your children to drop out you lose your benefit . drug testing if you test dirty your out
 

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paulaswolfpack said:
Lots of people that use a cane or walker and wheelchairs some of us are just happy that we can walk that day, So what happens if it a day you have to go in and do something in order to get the food needed but you are bedridden So what then yor family straves that month? Believe me I know what I speak my good days are about 10 a month.
Sounds like a bad situation. I know that here you can designate someone else to pick up your benefits for you. I was that person for two disabled people from our church (I would take in all their paperwork, their cards need loaded each month, etc.). Wyoming will also come to your home if you are bedridden or otherwise unable to go out or send a representative.
 

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I too, can get behind the idea of offering real basic food items to families in need.

The problem is the cost to implement and run such programs. Think about: The food has to be purchased, stored and distributed. How much would a program like this cost vs simply adding a dollar figure onto a recipients card every month and letting them take care of the logistics of the actual foodstuffs?

I feel that is a reason (at least one of them) that the card system was implemented.
 

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Wow Tonya & Rockyglen! If we could only get people like you in charge of welfare. The only thing I would add to that would be to add a lifetime limit on benefits.

Even the majority (not all) of those on disability could do some form of work or another. After all if they can sit in front of the computer or television screen for hours on end, they could find something to do. Even if it's for only a few hours a day. I think we need to give them credit for hours worked instead of taking way from them. Give them motivation to work instead of excuses why they can't.

Seems to me that the way it is set up now only enables. I know of a family that has been on welfare in one form or another for over 25 years! If over the years they had worked half as hard at a job and they have at trying to get handouts, they would have done well.
 

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For those of you who would hand out "whole foods", bulk sizes, etc., you are assuming that the person doesn't work and has a way to cook and store these items. When we were in the cabin, we had an electric 2 burner, but could only use one burner or it would trip the electricity and a dorm sized refrigerator. I worked all day a a substitute teacher (long-term assignment) and 4-6 hours more a night at my online job. I couldn't buy bulk because I had nowhere to store it. I bought canned veggies, because fresh would go bad too fast. We ate a lot differently than we normally did. I was getting food stamps at that time because the 2 jobs (14 hrs a day M-F and 8 hrs. Sat and Sun) didn't pay well. One of the little joys that I could offer my girls was a frozen pizza and icecream (pint, no way to freeze a half gallon) on Friday night. If I had to go and pick up bulk, whole foods, I wuld have been throwing out a lot of food.

I would have been madder than HE double hockey sticks for some smug, busy body, self-righteous, know it all, to try and tell me how I should be buying and preparing meals, without knowing my circumstances.

People are using food stamps because they have very little money. What if the person's gas is off and they only have a microwave to cook in? What if they live in a shelter and have no where to cook all day, since shelters kick you out at 7:00 am and don't let you back until 4:00 pm.?

There are some people and I feel the numbers are small, of people who abuse the system or who are just free loaders. Most was hard working, poor people. Everybody isn't in a position to farm, raise animals, hunt, fish.
 
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RockyGlen said:
Medicaid - this is a big one. People on Medicaid have the best insurance in the country that I know of. Here, they get two dental cleanings a year and braces if the dentist says they need them (including for self esteem issues!), a yearly eye exam and glasses, as many well care visits as their doctor reccommends, and every other doctor visit free. The adults have a $1 co-pay for prescriptions and a $2 co-pay for office visits - children are totally free. Don't you wish you had that good of insurance?

Cut the dental to one cleaning a year, fillings and pulling. No braces unless they are physically, medically necessary to chewing.

Keep the vision and glasses.

Make them go to the health department for well child care and shots.

I am not sure what to do for sickness....I want to say charge them half the visit if they go unnecessarily, but I don't want children suffering if the parents are afraid to go. Maybe make them go to free clinics run by universities (we have one of those in the next town).

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Iin THEORY this is how Medicade works with the dental visits. In reality, the dentist loses money every time a medicade person walks in the door. There are very few dentists who take medicade and some of them are questionable at best.

I have adopted kids who are covered through medicade. I can't find a decent pediatric dentist in St. Louis County who takes medicade. The last one I went to went from one kids mouth to another and didn't change gloves. He was also rude and obnoxious. He was an our late and came in and said "C'mon, people time is money. Your time and my money!" There were other questionable things going on in that office that gave me the heebie jeebies.

My Mom worked for the only dentist in the county who took medicade. At the time he got something like $12 for an exam and cleaning. It cost that much for cleaning the instruments and paying the chairside assistant. He totally lost money with every medicade patient. Dr. K is Mennonite and says that he donates his service as part of his tithe, but even so, they turn patients away every day. He has so many appointments a week that he can afford to have medicade patients take and when they're full, they can't take anymore. He was always booked 6 months in advance. If he can't take you then you have to go at least a county away to get service.

Braces...if you're on medicade you get those ONLY if they impair your ability to talk or eat. They don't do them at all for cosmetic purposes. Believe me. I've checked this out. Three out of my 4 kids will probably need some orthodontia.

My pediatrician usually doesn't take medicade, but I did some volunteer work with her and she was so impressed that I'm one of the few familys she'll take that has medicade.


As for glasses...again, good luck finding a medicade eye doc. My son has a severe lazy eye and needs a special precrition that most labs can't do easily. I've gotten so much grief in trying to find a lab who will give him what he needs that we gave up, saved up and pay for it out of our own pocket. It's a financial sacrifice for us, but we know he has glasses that he NEEDS and they aren't in the most butt-ugly frames a person could dream up. (Medicade folks get something like 5 frames to chose from and they are all ugly ones. NOTHING that would help a kid to fit in at all. I could give him my glasses I had in the 80's and it would be more fashionable. But that's another rant.)

Why get a 2nd opinion for ritalin? If you've ever met a truely ADD kid, then you KNOW they need the meds. Besides, ritalin is out of fashion. Concerta and other types work better and don't mess with the IQ.


Our Church had a medical lending closet. They closed it when folks figured out that they can get new stuff for free. It was a wonderful plan where you can donate medical equipment that you don't need and if someone else needs it they can use it. Between new stuff and liability, they had to close it. The lawyers got nervous that someone would fall off a toilet seat that wasn't installed by the medical company that they contributed to the shut down.


I totally agree with you about paying for sterilizations. They should be free for anyone who wants them, reguardless of income.
 

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It must depend on where you live. My kids dentist takes medicaid and so does their eye doctor. I also know 5 kids, from two different families, who have braces on Medicaid and they were for "self esteem" issues. The orthodontist comes to town once a month.

I just used Ritalin as an example - I was trying to think of expensive medications that are taken daily and are overprescribed.
 

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When I applied for medicaid and food stamps for my great neice and nephew, the social worker asked if I wanted Tanf (welfare check). I asked how much it would be and she said $235.00 a month max. I told her no. That wasn't enough money to jump through as many hoops as they wanted me to jump through to get the money. The scale that they use to guage your eligibility is from the 1950's. No one is getting rich on welfare.
 

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Mauto, do you report every veggie, jar of food, egg, etc that you sell? If not, you're committing fraud if you make more that $25.00 in a month.
 

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I say if you need insurance go buy some.....My employer's hmo isn't worth a ....... so I declined it and pay for my own health insurance...... I would like to see state paid childcare, year around schooling with school choice. If you want a wellfare check you should have to work for it...... unless you qualify for disability..... I agree that food stamps/ebt should be like wic, but old wic where you picked up a block of cheese, gallon of peanut butter, box of dry milk, bread and a thousand boxes of cerial :p If you want/ need assistance you can have the same things we drop out of airplanes over third world countries......The welfare system was great when it started and Americans really needed it, now I think that wellfare is just a handout for most of the people on it.
 

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Amen Tonya. When my kids were on Medicaid our long-time dentist dropped us and I had a VERY hard time finding another. In fact I gave up looking and we didn't go to the dentist for years until I could pay cash again.
 
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