Ask a conservative why they dislike public assistance programs, and they will likely tell you that the potential for the abuse of the system is too high.
Virginia Watson just proved the theory right: the 59-year-old Tennessee woman was arrested this week and charged with TennCare fraud, according to WVLT in Nashville.
Welfare fraud exposed
If there is a way to defraud the system, then people like Watson will figure it out.
In her case, she registered a Tennessee address to be eligible for the program, but she actually resided in Alabama at the time.
While Watson later moved to Tennessee, the move happened after she had already received benefits from TennCare.
This is a Class D felony, so if she is convicted, she could face up to 24 years in prison, as well as financial penalties.
Hand up, not hand out
Few people in this country have a problem with programs helping out their fellow Americans in a time of need.
It is the abuse of these programs that sets everyone off. How many able-bodied individuals are sitting on the couch every week collecting a welfare check? How many people living off the government are getting medical coverage they can pay for on their own?
Thankfully, this woman was caught — but it’s all but guaranteed that there are thousands more like her out there abusing the system.
The Trump administration has been able to crack down on this to some extent, and programs are now in place in some situations requiring a minimum volunteer or work hours to collect benefits.
But maybe it’s time to take this one step further and create volunteer worker programs where welfare recipients are able to work can get on-the-job training that will cost the employer nothing.
It stands to reason that if it’s required for able-bodied individuals to earn these benefits, they are less likely to be abused.