Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Medicaid Recipients

My store is running a promotion: Get 5 prescriptions filled at the pharmacy and get a 20% coupon for the store. This is really a great promotion if you think about it. First of all, it's a great deal to our customers because 20% off groceries can be a lot of money. Secondly, it's pretty unique in that it's a case where we are using the store to draw customers to the pharmacy instead of using the pharmacy to draw people into the store.

Like any other promotion or coupon give-away, the offer excludes medicaid and medicare recipients. Well, this has been a point of contention for several of our customers. Some have said that we are discriminating against medicare patients. One lady completely flipped out on me and one of our store managers over the whole issue. We tried to calmly explain to her that we don't make the rules and there's nothing we can do, but she got pretty belligerent. She started yelling about how no one in the pharmacy knows what they're doing, and how she'll never fill another prescription here ever again.

(On a side note: This woman complains about something and threatens to leave every single time she picks up a prescription, but bless her heart, she always comes back.)

This entry isn't about me complaining about how my tax dollars funding these medicaid patients. Nor will I take a popular stance on how people just abuse the system and pump out kids all the time in order to get more money from the government while doing nothing but sitting on their asses. Quite honestly, I think the Medicaid program is a good thing, and I have no problem with my tax dollars going to fund it. I will never complain about people having multiple kids while on Medicaid because I don't think I have any right to tell a woman when she can have a child and when she can't.

I can understand how a person might be stuck on government assistance for a long time. Not everyone is smart enough or physically capable of making a comfortable living. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather the way and the environment in which they were brought up. Many people never get the same kind of opportunities I had. Believe me, I'm well aware of just how fortunate I am to have been raised in a comfortable, middle-class household. I'm grateful that my parents instilled in me the value of education, and I'm grateful that they invested their time and money in making sure I had every opportunity to succeed in life. Many people don't have this kind of family support, and it's understandable that some end up on Medicaid.

However, the one thing I will never understand is when Medicaid recipients (and I certainly don't mean ALL of them) expect to have things handed to them. The woman that went nuts on us gets all of her medication for free, she gets tax breaks, she gets government assistance to pay for her food and housing, yet she still has the nerve to bitch about a freaking 20% off coupon. Instead of being happy and grateful for whatever help she can get, she complains and holds her hand out for more. Worse, she thinks she deserves more.

All I know is that if I were on Medicaid, I would work my ass off trying to get off it. I would make it my singular goal in life to stand up and make ends meet on my own. I would be happy that I was able to get some help from the government, but I wouldn't be looking for any additional handouts.

In any case, I never lost my cool with the woman. I never got flustered. I didn't fire back at her in response to any of her criticisms. I just let her rant and rave, and I'm sure the next time she comes into our pharmacy (and there will be a next time), I'll listen to her complain about something else. Even when she told me I didn't know how to do my job and insulted the entire staff, I never wavered. I know that I will never be able to reason with her and yelling at her won't accomplish anything.

In the end, she'll continue to believe the world owes her everything, and I'll never be able to understand how someone in her position could think like that.

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