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Let's Blame It All On The Poor

by Paul Wylie (writer), , March 14, 2011

Credit: imagemax
Untold tax dollars delivered right to Wall Street

Republican Attempts To Cut Lifelines From America's Poor Have NOTHING To Do With Budgets

Once more in the heat of a national budget crisis brought on by Wall Street bankers, one that may determine if we survive as a nation, the right wingers and those full of hatred for everyone that do not think as they do, once again attempt to turn the poor into an issue. Once more screaming about massive waste and abuses by the people who are on either Medicaid, TANF, Food Stamps, or any of the other alphabet soup of programs designed to help those less fortunate.

So called 'think tank' publications exhort the wisdom of massive cutbacks to all entitlement programs, without also imparting just what will become of those hurt by the cuts they propose. Think tanks such as The American Enterprise Institute, who released what they called a comprehensive report on the state of the Medicaid system in January, 2009. The report was little more than both the Bush administration's ( remember them?) and the private insurance industry's talking points. Calling for the saving of the Medicaid program by further privatizing it, in effect, adding more middlemen (the insurance industry) between the government workers and the recipient.

People like to use the poor as their scapegoats by thrusting entitlement program issues into the faces of the American people whenever election time rolls around, or whenever they need to distract from the real issue of the day. Like, 'Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner?' What those who use this tactic don't want you to know is that Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary started much of this expenditure mess with their now infamous 'welfare reform' during Clinton's term. The insurance industry who helped elect him demanded their cut of the Medicaid pie, and it was bestowed on them in the form of 'managed care'. Furthered by Bush to the point that one can no longer recognize where the insurance industry ends and Medicaid begins, this fraud upon America has cost taxpayers untold billions and has probably cost untold numbers of lives.

Operating just like any HMO, Medicaid now forces recipients to choose a managed care program such as Kaiser or Magellan. The HMO's then decree which doctors one may see and what medications may be prescribed by the doctor. Rewarded by the government for cutting costs, the fraud occurs when the HMO denies procedures and medications to Medicaid recipients, and then receives the savings in the form of reward bonuses. So instead of the recipient getting the care they need, the HMO gets the cash. Going even further in their attempts to discourage the poor from using their Medicaid benefits, the HMO's in many states have instituted a fee to the services that Medicaid recipients get. Fees such as co-payments for each doctors visit, extra fees for each prescription, and even more co-payments for specialists and tests ordered by the doctors. All well and good if one can afford the expenditures, but a deterring factor for those who have virtually no money to shower the new American robber barons.

So, if a recipient is sick, to go to their doctor will cost $25.00. The doctor in turn wishes the person to see a specialist. Another $35.00. And prescribing 5 medications to alleviate the symptoms will cost between 10 and 20 more dollars. Say this person must see their doctor, the specialist, and obtain these prescriptions for a period of one year in order to get back to health. How in the world does anyone expect the recipient to pay almost $100.00 per month for their Medicaid imposed costs, when their total monthly income, if on S.S.I. would be $663.00? Or the family on TANF, who in a generous state such as New Hampshire might receive the same amount for a family of four? What does one do if two children become ill? Choose which child lives and which one dies?

Therein lies the fraud in the Medicaid program. Insurance companies getting paid to ensure the people don't use the benefits that they are entitled to, and the politicians who give taxpayer money to an industry as political payback.

For more information on the amounts of money spent by each state and the instances of fraud and their minuscule amounts, read the bi-annual Health and Human Services National Summary of State Managed Care Programs. There you'll find out the true fraud being committed in the form of payments to the insurance industry and the taking away of actual health benefits for the People in order to pay for it.

Next we come to the howls of outrage by those who would deny the poor programs such as Food Stamps. The claims of fraud, waste and abuse sound ever so convincing. But with just a little bit of research, one can find that the only fraud being committed on a massive scale here is by the liars who quote figures that don't exist, or make things up as they go along.

A government report from the Library of Congress entitled Re engineering Through Technology clearly shows and declares that with the advent of the EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards, instances of fraud were reduced a full 75%. In most states, the EBT card is used for all benefits, including cash, food stamp, and Medicaid. Used like a credit card, one swipes the card through the machine at the counter. In order to obtain an EBT card, one must go to the local H.H.S. office. Most states have very strict standards when it comes to identification, proof of residency, proof of citizenship, etc. The argument that massive amounts of illegal aliens are receiving benefits is a lie at best and a co-ordinated effort to deceive Americans at worst. Yes, in many cases, illegals may initially receive benefits due to claiming they have no I.D. But the fact is that the recipient is given a set amount of time, usually 30 days, to produce the required documents or they are cut off of whatever benefits they began receiving.

And do you truly believe that a family that is in the position of having to depend on the pittance the government gives them in order to survive is having the time of their lives at your expense? The next time you're sipping your $5.00 latte mocha that the poor wouldn't dream of buying, or filling up your $50.00 gas tank in the car that the poor can not drive, think about the sick child in the family among the ranks of America's poor who is receiving no care because the family can not afford to pay the co-payments instituted by the HMO's. Ask yourself who is committing the true fraud here, and what you're prepared to do to stop the real abuse of the entitlement program system, and not just sit and nod your head in agreement with the hucksters who blame it all on the poor. We do not need middlemen between the government and those the government programs are meant to serve, and we certainly don't need politicians who use taxpayer dollars to reward industries that donate to political campaigns. Oh, and maybe we could use that trillion dollars to help Americans instead of killing Iraqis, Afhghanistanis, and Pakistani children.

Do your part and tell Congress to stop the cuts to the Medicaid and Food Stamp programs, because America's children have suffered enough for the oil baron wars.



About the Writer

Paul Wylie is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on Let's Blame It All On The Poor

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By Caballero_69 on March 14, 2011 at 05:09 pm

Paul,

The various co-pays you mention have a family resemblance to the Poll Taxes that the 24Th Amendment outlawed in 1962. The poll taxes were often cumulative as are the co-pays. Who was discouraged from voting by poll taxes? Those least able to pay. Who is discouraged from getting medical treatment? Those least able to pay. What a striking similarity!

As Cher remarks, the billing systems of insurance providers are a fertile ground for fraud. Not the least of which is the tactic the insurers use to deny a claim on one pretext or another hoping that persistence in this tactic will so discourage the claimant that they either give up or die. In either case, the insurers do not have the cost of the claim.

It has been said, "The poor you will always have with you," Some people are delighted because that means there will always be a scapegoat.

In the days of Jim Crow, those who gained most from segregation, used the poor as objects of scorn to keep their foot soldiers in line and loyal to the cause. Back in the glory days of Welfare Reform, or as I like to call it, Welfare Deform, the Welfare Queens were straw-men [or really straw-women] that lured people into supporting this fiasco.

Thank you for sending up a flare about this deplorable practice.

For the pious among us this may be familiar as well, "Verily I say unto you, in as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me."

Some well known precepts of Christianity actually deserve recognition and practice. Maybe Newt and Huck, John and the rest of the boys [and Michelle and Sarah too] should consider this. Sincere and authentic Christians can and do achieve many worthy ends, but those who use the religion to stigmatize others and rationalize injustice are hypocrites at best and charlatans at worst.

Thanks again for this article.

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By Caballero_69 on March 14, 2011 at 08:21 pm

Thank you Cher as always.

This article truly struck a chord!

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By Caballero_69 on March 18, 2011 at 07:52 am

The Real Shoelace - you are precisely correct, poverty is not an excuse. May I add that wealth is not an entitlement.

In a more honorable and generous period of the Republic’s history, the concept Noblesse oblige was generally accepted. This meant wealth, power, privilege, and prestige carried with them expectations, responsibilities, duties, and obligations. Today the hyper-affluent seem to recognize no priority but the quest for increased advantages and diminished commitments.

The "middleman that says all the problems in this country are all due to the poor and incarcerated terrify me" also. Such a person is a shill or a stooge for the Hydra that seeks to use the power of the Republic as a tool for the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many.

To slightly paraphrase JFK:

To those people struggling to break the bonds of mass misery we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves for whatever period is required -- not because we seek their votes but because it is right. "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."

I would add it should not save the few who are rich when they directly and indirectly impair and impede efforts to help the many who are poor.

Poor people have rights too. For a good expression of these rights go to the site below.

http://www.poorpeoplescampaignppc.org/RIGHTS-FOR-THE-POOR.html

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By Caballero_69 on March 19, 2011 at 06:44 am

Thank you trs!

I doubt I'll be running for office. In the summer of 2011, howerver, I will be writing a book. A Republic if We Can Keep It.

My hope it will induce at least some who do run for office strive to be leaders, not mere opportunists or shills for the predatory plutocrats.

I believe with JFK - "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."

For all the frenzy and scapegoating raging today, I believe our fellow Americans and our country are better than they currently show. My mission as I have accepted it, is to remind them and the country of that.

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By Agit8r on March 26, 2011 at 08:05 pm

One of the two basic ideologies is based upon objectifying people according to their worth as a commodity at market. Sad and disgraceful, really :(

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