By Shiryn Ghermezian, EnStarz | Sep 27, 2012 03:27 PM EDT
The idea of Obama Phone has been circulating since 2008, with people saying that the president is providing the country's poor will free cellphones.
However, FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net put the rumors to rest.
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In terms of the government providing free phones to the needy, that is true.
"They fund low end cell phones plans, and offset some of the cost of landline phones. The programs that authorize the phone distribution program are called Lifeline Assistance and Lifeline Link-Up," they reported. " Lifeline Assistance helps pay monthly phone bills and Lifeline Link-Up helps pay the initial outlay for the phone and installation. These Lifeline cell phones are delivered through relatively new, government-approved cell phone companies."
Nevertheless, reports connecting President Obama to the program are false. Though the program began in 2008, the same year that Obama was elected president, he has no direct connection to the program.
The site reported that the subsidization of phones began under President Bill Clinton and started off by providing discounts and assistance on only landline phones for the financially disadvantaged. However, as the usage of cell phones has increased over the years, so has the program changed to cater to the changes. Meaning, now the government provides cell phone assistance as well, which coincidentally started when Obama started his presidency and has carried on into his term.
The update in the program just happened to start the same year that America elected Obama to be president.
Back in 2009, emails began to link the recent update in the government assistance phone program, meaning the free cellphone program, to President Obama, and so the term Obama Phone was created along with its rumors, according to the site.
Those who qualify for the cellphones are citizens living at or below 135-150 percent of the poverty line or those tthat depend on Medicaid, food stamps or other public assistance programs.
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