Is the Lifeline phone program doomed? With all the talk of cutting entitlement programs, such a food, Medicare, and Medicaid, know that the free cell phone program will not be far behind. It appears that those Is politicians with double pensions, and killer health benefits for life, have no problems, making sure the poor have nothing; not even a way to call 911 if their baby is sick. If you have one of these phones, keep it and when the program has ended, you can still get phone service for as cheap as 20$ from Assurance Wireless, or one of the other phone providers.
What the opponents of the program do not tell you is, this program has caused profits to soar for the companies, that are offering free cell phones and service. Most people talk much more than 120 – 250 minutes allotted. Most people will opt to purchase more time, thus, the companies get new low-income customers they might have ordinarily not gotten. The phones though free, are quite inexpensive, and within a year will usually be upgraded to a better model. Again, the phone provider is making a profit.
Is a Cell Phone A Luxury?
Those who want to end the Lifeline phone program say a cell phone is a luxury, not a necessity; but is it? With the end of public street phones, the cell phone industry really took off. Think of it…when was the last time you saw a working pay phone in the US? There was the rise of drug dealing, addiction, and crime, in many cities in the late 80s and 90s.
The pay phone was often the hangout place for dealers and the like. People felt unsafe and didn’t want to use the phones, fearing being robbed or approached for money. Many store owners removed the pay phones, hoping it would also cause the negative element to go elsewhere, and it worked. Also, constant vandalism made it an uphill battle to keep these phones operable. So now how do you make a call, when you are not at home? You can’t. So I would say, a cell phone is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
Lifeline Phone Program Opposition
Tim Griffin, a Congressman from Arkansas, with other political leaders, have been quite vocal about bringing free government phone program to an end. It is funny how the Congress which has a 12% approval rating, is spending so much time trying, to end the free phone program. Seems like they should turn their focus, to passing job legislation, so more people don’t need government programs.
There has been a lot of abuse and fraud associated with the Lifeline program, but let’s get rid of the fraud and not the program. The free phone providers are taking steps to crack down on this fraud, by requesting more verification such as SS numbers, zip code and documentation from government assistance programs. Fraud hurts everyone and those who need help can not get it because of greed and dishonesty. This should weed out much of the dishonesty in the program, but there is still no guarantee the program will be here tomorrow.
States Charging Fees
Some states have decided to charge Lifeline phone providers a surtax, so you may have to pay a few dollars for your free phone. Seems like the State found a way to cash in on the same program they are trying to end! Gotta love em! The Lifeline phone program has been around for many years. It has helped low-income families with discounts and free phone service for decades. As of now, the free government cell phone program seems to be safe.
Free phone services for low-income families, and individual are available in every U.S. state. If you don’t qualify for free services, there are discount services offered as well.