Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Food Stamps For Everyday Living

“I am sorry to inform you, but after the blood work we have come to conclude that you have stage 4 Lymphoma.” The doctor spoke to my grandma with gentleness and my grandma slowly rested her eyes on her health report and let the silence fill the room. The doctor spoke in a calming tone, “there is no need to worry Lymphoma is treatable and we can start chemotherapy as soon as possible.”

There it was my uninsured 70-year-old grandma was being told that she was being diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma. If untreated she would have only six weeks to live. There was something in her conscious that bothered her more than being diagnosed with cancer. It was the idea of how was she going to pay for chemotherapy and the hospital stays. She spent most of her life as a single mother of five children and immigrated to America in her 60’s and lived with her daughter onwards. She didn’t work in America because of old age and couldn’t qualify for many of the government aide programs and couldn’t become a citizen because she didn’t know English. My grandma had applied for Medicaid a long time ago, but because of slow processing nothing ever worked out. Living without the government benefits programs can be difficult if you are economically disadvantaged.

Benefit programs like Medicaid can sometimes save lives. Medicaid makes it possible for the people with financial difficulties to live healthier and longer lives. Healthcare, the right to good health, should be a right for all members of society despite economic status. Children’s health should not be compromised because of their parent’s income and insurance policies. Medicaid allows for children of low income families to have access to proper healthcare. The same concept can be applied to eating healthy.  The common fact is that healthy food is more expensive than junk food.  Food stamps are an important resource because it allows low-income families to improve their nutrition, health and wellbeing.  Which in turn helps lower medical costs for a nation as a whole.

A healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Food stamps effectiveness can be improved if there was regulation that only allowed recipients to buy healthy food. With the right distribution of funds the effectiveness of these programs can be improved. Most importantly making the application process quicker and accessible to all the different parts of the population will improve the benefit programs effectiveness.

If social workers reach out to the population that qualify for these benefit programs then the gap in the distribution of wealth can be decreased. Many qualifying people don’t understand the application process. Social workers can help bridge the gap. Benefit programs are important resources because they help make sure the poor don’t get poorer. The programs make sure a low-income student can still get a meal during school. The preamble of the United States mentions that in order to form a more perfect union we have to promote the common welfare. These benefit programs do just that.


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