I’m On Public Aid

In case you were wondering how someone that makes $300 a week can pay her rent, eat and have a baby, it’s because I’m receiving public aid.

Yep, that includes WIC, food stamps and Medicaid.

And HELL YES, for all of that.

I am not embarrassed. I am not ashamed. I know that even if I were making double that and couldn’t qualify for it, I’d be much worse off.

How, you ask? As many of you probably experience, there are a lot of co-pays and deductibles associated with regular insurance. Maybe some of you have a lot of available credit or a sizable savings account. Or perhaps a significant other who covers the bills. I don’t. There is no way I could afford out of pocket expenses for anything.

Even if I wasn’t pregnant, I’d still be dealing with finding $500 lying around for a crown I need on my back molar.

Oh and by the way, the health center I’m going to has covered all of my basic dental work including six cavities. For free, people. I should also mention I’m in individual counseling. Again, gratis.

This is how socialized medicine works. And it totally makes sense. Insurance companies, big pharm, hospitals, all they want is your money. They are not properly regulated by the government, who, by the way, don’t give a shit about you either, in case you hadn’t noticed. Fixing your healthcare problems is not even a blip on their radar when all they’re focused on are the funds they receive from lobbyists.

We live in a country that places a VALUE on human life. As in, we let people die all of the time because they can’t afford preventative care, prescription medication, or life saving procedures.

Think about that for a minute.

The good thing is: I’m not completely reliant on this aid. It is supplemental. There is basically no way I could live on the $54 a month they give me in food stamps plus the weird things I’m eligible for on WIC. In other words, I don’t claim to be in a position that many, many people who receive this aid are in.

But it’s helping. A lot. So is paying $3.90 for every prenatal doctor’s appointment and so far, not having to pay a cent for either of my routine ultrasounds.

Certain people complain that some folks are purposely trying to stay on the welfare program. To be honest, I believe that. Who in the hell would want to work 60+ hours a week making minimum wage to be just above the poverty line, struggling everyday, versus getting a little help from the government?

If they really wanted people to be less dependent, they’d force multi-billion dollar companies like Walmart and McDonald’s to pay their employees $15 an hour or figure out the actual livable wage in each city. It’s baffling that a good portion of these employees are on public aid and are also the ones we point fingers at for supposedly abusing the system. The face of poverty isn’t laziness. It’s a whole workforce of underpaid people who are trying to make ends meet.

Call me a socialist. Call me a communist. But I am not comfortable with ONE PERSON MAKING 296 TIMES MORE THAN THE AVERAGE WORKER. One in five kids go hungry in America while some undeserving asshole is making $296 to your one. And I say undeserving because no ONE person is working THAT HARD to justify THAT MUCH more money. He’s an asshole because obviously. He’s probably paying a lower percentage of tax than you and in relation to how much he makes, is donating even less. And He is a He because duh.

You know that saying “it takes a village”? It’s absolutely true. And the government RELIES on that shit. They are looking to churches and community organizations to fill in the gaps where they refuse to as if it’s not their job to look out for their own citizens. Not only have I received public aid, I’ve had the support of friends, family and an employer who are literally giving me things. Even strangers on Facebook exist just to help one another. I am very lucky and very grateful.

So please don’t be mad at me.

I know that I won’t be relying on this forever. Just so long as my kid gets good coverage.

-Carly

 

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