Our View: Private Option can’t survive in current form

For many of us who grew up in a generation that was taught respect, responsibility and accountability, that working and earning for something was much more valuable than if were simply given for free. This is something that the generation of today simply doesn’t understand because for years they have been spoiled by a society that makes earning something meaningless. The generosity of liberal, socialistic politicians and government bureaucrats of our tax dollars, paid for with the sweat of the hard working and dwindling working class has reached a critical tipping point. Take for example Arkansas’ struggle to support a multibillion-dollar Medicaid and health care program for the thousands and thousands of men, women, children, elderly and disabled who are unable or unwilling to support themselves, and have become totally dependent upon the scores of government subsidy programs funded by the numerous taxes paid for by the overburdened working middle-class. Because of the dire financial situation facing Arkansas, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson is now making it vividly clear that on Dec. 31, 2016, the state’s controversial form of Obamacare, known as the “Private Option”, ends. Upon taking office, Hutchinson immediately formed a legislative task force to recommend changes to the Private Option, and has just received a consultant’s report that calls for: — Imposing “lockout” periods for Private Option participants who fail to pay their insurance premiums. — Consider applicants’ assets, as well as income, in determining eligibility for coverage. — Subsidizing coverage through employer plans for those with access to job-based coverage. — Requiring enrollees with incomes above the poverty level to pay premiums up to 2 percent of their income. — Referring unemployed enrollees to job programs. — Strengthening procedures for verifying recipients’ eligibility for benefits. We have advocated all along that recipients of society’s generosity through government subsidy programs should have some incentive and investment in what is given to them, whether it be free health care or food stamps. For decades this vote-getting, socialistic philosophy by the liberal politicians has created generations of people who now expect free health care, free food stamps, free housing, free utilities, free child care, free transportation as well as the scores of other government hand-outs the liberal Democrats refer to as “entitlements”. There are still many of us who come from a time when we weren’t “entitled” to anything and that we had to “earn” what we needed and wanted. We were taught the meaning respect, responsibility, and told that if we worked hard many of our wants and needs would be our reward. Until these core values are recognized and taken seriously then there is little hope for the growing number of people who believe that government owes them something or the future of this country.

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