This ComingTogether Plan provides a great increase in freedom, compared to the current system.
Of particular importance is eliminating governmental involvement in personal choices. Dick Armey, former U.S. House Majority Leader, points out, "The most important responsibilities we undertake — marriage, parenthood, vocation — are personal. No one else should shoulder the burden for us, and indeed only in Freedom do we come to realize they are not burdens at all."1 This is a profound statement. Consider how many personal responsibilities are made more difficult by government interference, and therefore seem to be more of a burden. This proposal's elimination of means testing and many of the other current criteria for receiving benefits eases the burden, and moves us further toward the realization that caring for one another is not really a burden. This proposal would increase the freedom to follow our conscience.
Another freedom offered under this ComingTogether Plan is the freedom to save. Under current rules, there are some benefits (including food stamps and Medicaid) that are taken away if assets reach a certain level. That has the effect of giving the recipients a disincentive to prepare for a major purchase in the most responsible way — saving up rather than borrowing.
This ComingTogether Plan also greatly reduces the amount of information that must be provided to the governments, providing freedom from coercion to share personal information. The eligibility for benefits under this plan is determined solely by the citizenship status. To determine the amount of the health plan benefit, the government will need to know the age of each individual. To actually pay the benefit, the government is given the information concerning the account in which the money is to be deposited. This is one of the important reasons this plan specifies using private credit card issuers. The government would need to periodically audit retailers to be sure that goods are categorized correctly (much as they do now for food stamps and exemption from sales tax), but they would not have any reason to build a database concerning where a given individual does his or her shopping.