Government benefit programs such as food stamps and Medicaid are important resources for helping people with financial difficulties because even though people have full time jobs; it is difficult to pay the bills of the basic necessities such as rent and utilities if all they are receiving in pay is minimum wage. For example if someone with a full time job is only receiving $800 a month and after paying $500 rent and anywhere from $150-$300 in utilities, that person won’t have any money left over for anything else, such as their phone bill or even food to eat especially if they had a high utility bill. Food stamps helps out because at least the person knows that for sure they will be able to have some food in their household for the month. With Medicaid and Medicare, they won’t have to worry their health. Also Lifeline programs can help someone with a phone for emergencies, if something happened at their child’s school or at their work and the person won’t have to worry about how someone can get ahold of them in an emergency. There is a lot of misconception of people who are receiving these benefits are just lazy and don’t want to work, etc but to me, that is such a small number compared to the rest of the people who are living pay check to pay check and then still not being able to get any food, medicine, or anything else just from paying the few necessary bills to live.
What can we do to improve the effectiveness of these programs?
To improve the effectiveness of these programs, we need to make sure that first we can have enough of a budget from the government to make sure these programs are always there for everyone who needs the help. Another way to improve these programs is making sure the people who really need the help are receiving the help that these programs provide. I feel that it would be a good idea to base their need of help on their income taxes. Also if the person is going back to school and working full-time, they should be able to receive some of these benefits as well because it would help that person get a better future and hopefully one day, that person would be able to turn around and help others they know who are having the same difficulties as they had once had. Another way to improve the effectiveness of these programs, especially the Lifeline type programs, is to merge all of these free cell phone programs into one national program. By doing this, it would make it easier to see what was going on and to see who was receiving the free minutes and phones.