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This started out to be a story about healthcare, but the more I got into it the story developed into one about how difficult it is to help people who need it.

I started with the premise that we live in a society so that we can help one another.  If we didn’t want to do this, we would each live in some remote area where we were entirely on our own.  If we had a problem, we would have to deal with it, or else. That sounds pretty simple, right?  Buckle your seatbelts!

With that background, we should all be able to agree that we should help those in need of healthcare if they can’t afford it themselves because of physical or mental issues, or they have no marketable skills, but what if they just don’t want to work. They may not want to work because they have a gig on the side that provides sufficient income to survive, or they live off of others, or they have kids they need to take care of and can’t work, or maybe a myriad of other reasons. 

So, maybe there should be a requirement to work or  at least to be available for work.  Even if they don’t want to work, these people cannot be ignored. But will they be provided basic care or complete care?  And, who will pay for it?

Capitol Hill, Washington DC

There are other issues as well.  What group of people will be selected, and by whom, to categorize those groups in question?  And, what criteria will be used to identify those who can’t work or don’t want to work?  Who will craft the criteria?  How will people in need apply for help?  Can a person change categories as their life changes?  Will this be a state or federal program?  What if a person moves from one state to another; will their status change because of different rules? How will this population be monitored and who will be assigned this challenge?

Once those healthcare issues are dealt with, what is society going to do about the other needs of this same group: housing, food, clothing, transportation?  As you can appreciate, all this will require a monstrous governmental unit, state or national, to formulate all the rules and regulations and administer them in all the states, and as this population segment moves from state to state.  And, what do we do about the hundreds of thousands of immigrants, legal or otherwise, who enter the country annually? Which category will they be assigned to, or are they a separate category?

Once we have our arms around these complex issues, we need to ask ourselves why all these free “lunches” wouldn’t remove any incentive for someone to be innovative, work hard, provide jobs for other workers, build businesses, etc.  If it does destroy this incentive, then at the end of the day everyone in the country will be in this system of providing each of us with what we need to survive.  Or, is that kind of living really surviving?

This is the reality of what our government is facing today; trying to provide for our citizens without destroying the work ethic that drove our country to where it is today.  This is not a political issue, although some people want it to be, but it is certainly one that each one of us needs to address and discuss openly to try to arrive at a solution or solutions.  And, in arriving at these conclusions, we need to be fair and not foolish. The future of our country depends on it.

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