I was asked to get opinions on this idea by a Legislator. I will be sharing your comments with this Legislator, so now is your time to allow your ideas to be heard.
When struggling with accountability within the welfare system the lack of transparency (where the money is going and on whose behalf?) makes it difficult for legislators and the public to have any oversight into whether the uses are for appropriate safety net purposes or improper lifestyle hammocks uses. Federal law likely doesn’t allow disclosure, but if it did, what would you think about more transparency?
I asked for clarification with the terms ‘transparency’ and ‘safety net vs. improper lifestyle hammock uses.’
The response I received:
An example of the hammock would be a college student driving a BMW while having Medicaid pay for the birth of his baby.
- Another example would be a hospital, in trying to lure Medicaid dollars their way, offering free pedicures and manicures to it’s new mothers. (This example was given to me by Dan Liljenquist)
One simple example of greater transparency would to publish an annual report identifying the name, city of residence, and amount of money by service (Medicaid, food stamps, etc.). This might allow folks to better understand the welfare needs of some people and might also help them identify folks living a life inconsistent with claiming welfare (those cases like the BMW-driving student on Medicaid or the person living in a million dollar home with a $60K boat living on welfare).
The Utah Legislature is looking for those receiving public money to first be doing all they can for themselves. If you are capable of working, but would rather sit at home collecting a monthly check, that would be example of not being as self sufficient as you could be.
In my experience I have no clue how a family with a medically fragile child with special needs could scam the system. I believe this Legislator understands that too.
This isn’t a fully formed concept. It needs some opinions and ideas to help flesh it out. Your opinions and ideas, which I hope you will share in the comments section.
To be fair, I will share my thoughts on this. The money Parker receives via his waiver comes from the taxes of someone else. Our family recognizes this and treats Parker’s waiver with respect and gratitude. In our own way, we try to tread as lightly as we can on Parker’s waiver: blenderized diet, cloth diapering, paying out of pocket for disposables, things like that. No, it’s not much. It is our way of trying to show respect.
If being more transparent helps the Utah Legislature and the citizens of Utah feel better about social safety nets, then I’m all for it. Place our family at the top of the list. My goal is keeping Parker alive.
My husband is paid by tax dollars. His salary is listed online. (If you choose to look it up, please remember that most sites list his compensation by adding both his actual salary and his benefits package together. You’ll need to subtract close to 40,000 to come close to what his actual PRE TAX take home pay is. Just sayin’.)
Why shouldn’t the legislature be allowed to be transparent in this same way for those who receive Medicaid? The only negative I could come up with is that there could be those who would ‘turn someone in’ out of spite or trying to stir a pot of some sort. There could be those who feel humiliated by others knowing they receive help from social safety nets. I got over that long ago. Again, my goal is to keep Parker alive.
Your opinion may be different than mine. That’s okay. I hope we can respectfully discuss this topic in the comments section below.
PS: I added any bolds in this post, in case some visitors didn’t want to read the entire post, but just get the most important ideas.