There truly is a huge cost associated with entitlement programs. Nothing is "free" in this world. If you're not paying for something, someone else is paying for it in some way or another. That's all great until the people who are paying for everything run out of money themselves. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that time is coming, sooner than you think.
Here's one example where entitlement is wrong:
This is a portion of a label that prints when we process a prescription. It also has the patient and prescriber information (not shown) as per state board of pharmacy requirements. This is affixed to the back of the prescription.
As seen above, it has the name of the drug, quantity, NDC (National Drug Code), instructions, and some pricing information. That's what I'd like you to notice...
With THIS prescription, OUR cost is $40.88. That's just for the medication. The price of the label, bottle, cap, cost to adjudicate, shipping fee, cost for tech, pharmacist, etc... would all be on top of that. Granted, it's not very much per prescription, but it does add up over time.
So what's the point? The point is that THIS prescription was processed on MEDICAID, a state-funded program for low income people. My pharmacy was reimbursed from Medicaid $31.40. That means with this prescription we lost $9.48 BEFORE all the other overhead and variable costs I mentioned. Further, due to the way Medicaid is set up, the pharmacy has no choice in the matter... no way to fight it. There's nothing the pharmacy can do about it. This type of reimbursement doesn't happen with every prescription on Medicaid, but it happens enough (in my mind) to matter. With many other prescriptions on Medicaid, the reimbursement is so little over cost that when you add in the variable costs it turns out to be a wash in most cases.
Just so you know... ANY business MUST make a profit to STAY in business. If you truly don't understand that concept, you need to open a lemonade stand this weekend and figure it out on your own. The MORE people that go on state-funded Medicaid programs, the MORE this happens. The MORE this happens, the LESS profit there will be for the pharmacies involved. In that case, businesses will seek other ways to make up the deficit, and that will be higher prices for every day items. This means that people who are paying the taxes to pay for people on Medicaid will incur extra costs hidden in everyday items at the grocery or pharmacy.
There's another factor associated with this entitlement... when a company is forced to work with less profit, the first thing they cut is the work force. As a result of less profit, my Goofmart pharmacy reduces tech hours. A reduction in tech hours puts more of the workload strain on pharmacists. That in turn leads to a higher rate of error. Eventually that will end up with a patient being seriously harmed. This is not conjecture. This is reality.
No one wants truly poor people to be hungry or not get their medication. There are people who truly need our help until they get back on their feet and can contribute to society and making a living for themselves. Unfortunately, the system doesn't police who is truly indigent and those who are taking advantage of the system (see EXAMPLE).