A Medicaid Program to End All Medicaid Programs (Part II)


Then public subsidy programs came along and suddenly the family had a way out:  they could dump the offending relative on the government, except there is no “government”—there’s just your neighbors paying the bill.  In the beginning, it was shameful and you hid from the neighbors the fact that you had a relative on the public dole but as the generations rolled on, it stopped being an embarrassment and became an alternative solution.  Families no longer had to take care of their own; there were, increasingly, government programs to cover every kind of human problem.

The down side to this was that taxes started to go up, but nobody made the connection between the high cost of their taxes and their low compassion for their relatives.  Families were now allowed to abandon their troublesome relatives.  After I got out of the hospital when I was twenty-one, my parents kicked me out and told me to go on Welfare.  They said I needed to learn to be independent; what they wanted was to be undependable.  There is no more immense or intolerable dependency than being dependent on government programs.  It is horrific and devours your soul.

I have three sisters.  Each one was healthy enough to work full-time and therefore wealthy enough to own a car and a house.  Because I am unhealthy I cannot work, therefore my only source of income is Social Security Disability.  I travel by wheelchair in Medicaid transportation vans and paratransit buses, subsidized by the government, that is, my neighbors.  Because my sisters will not drive me to the doctor, my neighbors have to pay for it to be done.

That’s the way it is for most of us folks who are receiving public services:  our families have abandoned us.  Look around you:  how many members of your own extended family are receiving some sort of government support because you don’t want to take care of them?  You want to spend less on Medicaid?  It’s easy:  provide care yourself.

Buy food for your poor relatives.  Get the family together to pay their heat bill.  Drive them to the doctor.  Don’t want to?  Then shut up and pay for somebody else to do it.  And keep in mind that for you to do it through the government means that very little of your money goes to direct services and a whole lot of your money goes to government bureaucrats who assess, authorize, monitor, audit and investigate the spending of your money.  Take care of your own relatives and cut the overhead.

We no longer are a nation committed to doing the Lord’s will, so we’re okay with not sharing with people who have less that we do.  We are a nation of selfish people.  We don’t tithe, that is, give ten percent of our income to the church.  In America, statistics show that the average person donates one percent to the church, except among poor people.  Poor people donate 1.5 percent.  Didn’t know that, did you?

Poor people, who know how hard it is, share a greater portion of their income than does the middle class.  Those who have, keep; those who have less, share.  You are relatively privileged people and you don’t share.  Every single person who bitches about the high cost of Medicaid has more than every person who receives Medicaid.  You are selfish and don’t want to take care of those who can’t do for themselves.

Well, okay, I’m done.  I’m tired of defending my right to live.  I’m sick of trying to make ends meet, get up, keep up—and without ever going to a movie or concert or out to dinner.  I can’t afford to do any of the things that make life worthwhile and I’m tired of trying to justify my existence.  I’m tired of reading, day after day, what a lazy immoral leech I am and how it’s my fault that you’re unhappy, so give me one last Medicaid program.  Give me death.  Let me put myself out of your misery.  It’s what you want and now it’s what I want, so let’s do it. 

You kill me.  It’s the final solution to the Medicaid problem.  I’m just asking you to do it all at once, instead of cutting one program after another so that my suffering steadily increases.  You will, of course, have to stand before God some day and accept eternal judgment for your actions but you’re in denial about the existence of a supreme power so that’s not a problem.  There isn’t enough money in the world to get me to stand in your shoes for one second.  Every major religion—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism—teaches that you are to care for the poor and sick but, oh well, that doesn’t apply to you, does it?

Does it?

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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1 Response to A Medicaid Program to End All Medicaid Programs (Part II)

  1. arleen fordock says:

    Anne—Excellent portrayal of real life. Where’s someone to do the documentary regarding all levels of the poor people we
    do have in the U.S.A.? We pay more attention to reality shows, game shows, etc & less attention to those in need. It was in
    church I learned that policy was to “take care of widows & children”, but as a child it was not expected of me—the adults in church took care of those categories simply& quietly. That was in 1950’s. Today’s attitudes are more “me” than ever. The few of us who do volunteer work, such as knitting laprobes for nursing home patients & serving meals at “Samaritan Kitchen, &volunteer atMeals On Wheels, etc, are people with good hearts & mostdo not need fanfare to announce they do care for others. The agencies such as HEAP(energy assistance) & Peace Inc do great programs for over-age-60 people, as well as for low income. God bless the USA. Thank you Anne for”notes in passing” which raises our awareness!.

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