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By AliJewell Dec 10, 2012 1496 Words
Welfare is helping the lower standards of community, like those at or under minimum wage. It was originally meant to be temporary help for those who were out of work, or not quite making enough to substance them and their families. The meaning and use have gone through extensive changes from when it was first created. There is a need for comprehensive welfare reform, in order for the welfare programs to continue to work. Medical Assistance (Medicare), Food Assistance (Food Stamps) and Cash- Assistance are three major welfare projects that are abused, and over used. The changes that have been made to the program, the places where fraud exist and the few regulations are the main reasons these along with other welfare programs are failing. Each program has other programs in it making it easier for fraud and misuse to happen. To fix the system of welfare we need to first identify what is wrong with it and the loopholes.

A major Welfare program Medicaid, which was created by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Establish for the elderly, it was for those 66 and older to help pay for medical needs Since then many other programs have been added under the umbrella of Medicare (Medicare: a time line of key developments). There are people, who need Medicare, and it is a very basic need of America’s economy, but there are multiple places where it can be fixed so that there are fewer loopholes in the system. During the years 1970- 1974 the Medicare coverage was extended to those under 65, those who receive S.S.D.I payments for two years, and those with E.S.R.D. (Medicare: a time line of key developments). Throughout the rest of the 1900’s, there would be almost constant change and amendments to the Welfare system. During the late 80’s The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) was an act that made Medicare coverage mandatory for all newly hired state and local government employees, it was later appealed. (Medicare: a time line of key developments) In the 2000’s the “Welcome To Medicare” was added which makes Medicare cover physicals, regular screening and more, this along with the MMA plan changes have added to the cost of Medicare. (Medicare: a time line of key developments) In 2002, over forty million Americans were covered by Medicare services. (Medicare). In 2000, Medicare expenditures were 90.7 billion dollars for Plan B and 131 Billion for Plan A. (Medicare) The price that those covered increases but not enough to cover the expenses. Since it was created Medicare keeps adding more people, from disabled workers to younger generations for the program. The Medicare program should go back to its original form where it was meant to help pay for medical cost of the elderly, but the age should be raised because the life expediency of the average American has been raised.

HealthCare is another umbrella under it is everything from job assistance to food stamps. The most commonly heard fraud within Healthcare is the Food Stamp System, because of how often and easy it is. Food Stamp Fraud is anytime you knowingly use SNAP or food stamps not authorized to you by Supplemental Nutrition Assonance Program or the Food Stamp Agency’s.( Food Stamp Crime). Food Stamps in theory are a great assistance; it is a card that is preloaded each month with a predetermined amount of money, which is based off income that can only be used on food items. Food Stamps can’t be used to purchase: any liquor products, cigarettes or tobacco, nonfood items, vitamins, medicines, foods that would be eaten in the store or hot foods. (Food Stamp Crime) Some places are authorized to accept the Food stamp card or SNAP in exchange for low-cost meals. (Food Stamp Crime) The rate that food stamp fraud is increasing is troubling; there are so few qualifications for it and not a lot of traces. In 2007 the number of recipients for food stamps went from 26million to and shocking 44 million, and costs shooting up from 33 billion dollars to 77 billion dollars. (Food Stamp Crime) There are over 200,000 merchants accepting food stamps nationwide, yet there are only 40 inspectors to check for fraud and other discrepancy’s. (Food Stamp Crime) Food Stamp Fraud is such an nationwide topic because of how simple it is to complete. If you lose your card they send you another one very quick, they can’t cancelled the card until you report it though. To qualify for food stamps you just have to make a certain wage, not minimum but a low wage so you can have assistance to keep caught up on everything. Food Stamp Fraud is such an advertised issue though, people sell their food stamps everywhere from Craigslist and Facebook to selling them on the side of the road. (Food Stamp Crime) To fix the Food Stamp system they should implant some code and signature that you have to fill out to use it, so that if it does go missing you can hold accountable the person committing fraud. If you also enforce the laws of illegal usage of food stamps, more than people are more likely to use them for their actual purpose instead of for drug money. Even adding an asset check would help to lessen the fraud, because a millionaire who has no income could collect food stamps. (Food Stamp Crime)

Cash Assistance is another of the abused Welfare systems, the regulations are not strict enough to be used for any real good. There is currently a lack of good reviews and guidelines of who should be given Cash Assistance, the Welfare payment are provided by state governments, which are regulated by the SRS programs as determined by each state government. (Welfare Information) For the most part Cash assistance is received the first week of every month. (Welfare Information)To be able to receive Cash assistance, you have to fulfill one or more of the standards. Each state sets its own select guidelines but for the most part they line up together.( Welfare Information) The main regulation is the household income, along with the number of people who live in the house. Pregnant women, seasonal workers, the mortgage payments, utility bills, and other necessary requirements for living are all factored into how much cash Assistance a family can get. (Welfare Information) The difference between Medicare, Food Stamps and Cash Assistance is that Cash Assistance checks your assets, such as cash available in savings and banking accounts. Cash assistance also takes into account disabled or infirmed family members who live in the house. (Welfare Information). Conventions are taken into account, which is both a good and bad thing. Some criminals coming out of jail need assistance too, and if they have a convention of record, they can be turned away. The accuracy of each person’s records should be checked more intensely. If there are more checks to make sure that a person is honest and following produce then there is less chance of fraud taking place. The benefits of Cash assistance are separate from the other Welfare programs and do not take into account the other benefits.

The Welfare Program needs comprehensive reform, in order for the programs to continue to work how they are meant to. In Medicare, there should be more restrictions, reforming it to the basics of the Welfare act of 1965. Medicare should only be offered for the mentally challenged, those with physical challenges and those over an certain age (higher than 65 and something that adheres to the now day life expediency). Food Stamps should have more regulations for when you pay, to stop fraud, and there should be more enforcement for those who disuse the Food Stamp System. Cash assistance should be viewed more on an overall assistance level, and have reviews that are more extensive so that liars are more likely to be caught. Welfare Programs are needed in every society, the United States Welfare is one of the most important things in our society. It protects and helps the lower classes, but if it isn’t reformed then the government will continue to lose money, and the programs won’t be efficient.

Medicare: A Timeline of Key Developments - Kaiser Family Foundation." Medicare: A Timeline of Key Developments - Kaiser Family Foundation. The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. <>.

Bovard, James. "The Food-Stamp Crime Wave." Wall Street Journal. 23 Jun 2011: A.17. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Oct 2012.

"Medicare." Magill's Medical Guide, 4th Rev. ed.. 2008. eLibrary. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.

Chapter 18: Social Welfare Policymaking Summery." Goverment in America. Vol. 12E. N.p.: Pearson, 2006. N. page. Print. Government in America: People, Politics and Policies.

United States of America. Welfare. US Welfare System., 2012. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. <>.

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