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Limits for Welfare Recipients

November 30, 1992



Regarding the Opinion page article "Hold Off on Welfare Change," Nov. 16: Having been raised in a low-income, single-mother household, I understand all too well the inherent dangers and difficulties faced by families in situations the author uses to support his opinion that limits should not be placed on collections from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Such limitations, however, are a definite step in the right direction to freedom from the overburdened welfare system.

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While the ideal situation may be to help all, free government handouts are not the answer. Placing a limit on the amount of time people are allowed to receive government aid would help people focus their abilities to help themselves. No one should receive free handouts at the expense of others without the understanding that such benefits might one day end. Limiting the time people might receive aid would help welfare recipients develop talents which will help them live better lives on their own. Michael Davis, Rexburg, Idaho

In the article on welfare reform, the author shows that liberal ideologues never learn from their mistakes. Increases in welfare benefits, as part of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program, caused millions of one-worker middle class families to send additional workers into the labor force to maintain their living standards in the face of higher taxes and inflation. These additional middle-class workers displaced many of the working poor from their jobs, turning them into the nonworking poor. Now the auth or would have us solve the problem of the nonworking poor with more welfare benefits. It is comforting that President-elect Clinton recognizes the need to get the United States off the welfare treadmill. Eric J. Klieber, Cleveland Heights, Ohio Cutting health-care costs

Regarding the Opinion page article "Cut Health-Care Costs - But How?," Nov. 19: When Bell Telephone System appeared to have a stranglehold on telecommunications, the government broke up the monopoly. President-elect Clinton must recognize that soaring health costs are the result of a similar situation controlled at the top of the American Medical Association, including the pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of high-tech hospital equipment, lawyers, and the insurance companies.

Competition has not entered into the equation; if someone needs medical attention, he has little choice but to pay the high prices demanded. Insurance rates, including malpractice insurance, are high in most cases and coverage is not all-inclusive.

The author describes the complexities of the issue but offers no real solutions. If health providers continue to insist on profits out of sync with what people can afford to pay, government regulations must be brought to bear - even in a country that abhors government interference. Laurence W. Thomas, Ypsilanti, Mich.