When I was about eight years old, my father took me on a fishing trip to Montana. On the way, we stopped at Yellowstone National Park. This was absolutely fascinating to an eight year old boy who had never been anywhere so amazing.
On the way to Old Faithful, the traffic became backed up several times. My father called it a "bear stop." Yellowstone bears would stop traffic. People would take pictures. Some would feed the bears.
My father, having grown up in that part of the country, was prepared for the bears. He opened a can of sardines. In front of me, right out the window, he fed sardines to hungry bears. Wow that was fun. It seemed so innocent at the time and the right thing to do.
Today, Yellowstone Park doesn't allow this. Bears had become so habituated to human handouts that they didn't forage on their own anymore. It was just too easy to get a handout from the humans every day. Yellowstone wasn't a petting zoo, it was a preserve and refuge for animals. Rangers worked hard to stop the behavior to protect the animals. That was actually the right thing to do.
Listen to me: I don't want to hear any whiny liberal crap about how you shouldn't judge or you don't know the story. I do know the story. My microcosm of the world is a glimmer of everywhere.
We're in trouble. And I hope it is not too late.
I'm talking about government entitlements, specifically Medicaid. When you give something to someone "for free" without any consequences or limits, they become dependent on it. I've seen it over and over. I have so many patients on Medicaid. Some have really low income. Some have average income. A few drive expensive cars and are on Medicaid. I have a doctor in an expensive neighborhood with two boys that get their Vyvanse at no charge to him. He's a doctor, but his kids' meds are free. I have other patients that are on government assistance... have been for years, and do nothing to get out of the hole. Nothing.
I don't have an abnormal cluster of Medicaid patients. This is the same all over. Just like the Yellowstone bears, people have lined up and have become habituated to the government paying for their medication. They get their medication at no charge or "nearly free."
I'm really sorry if this offends you, but this is a very clear signal for trouble ahead. When the public becomes dependent on government assistance, they lose the drive and tenacity to pursue income on their own. Why would you work hard for something if it is just going to be given to you?
I am not a heartless bastard. I understand that people run into financial problems. I've been there, believe me, I absolutely know what it is like to start over from scratch. No one wants grandma to suffer or go without her medication. No one wants children to suffer. BUT there has to be a limit!
Government entitlements: It's just like feeding bears in Yellowstone, it seems so innocent and feels like the right thing to do. But it isn't. To expect the government to take care of you... no, it's just not acceptable because it creates dependency.
Wake up, people. Wake up.