Monday, August 30, 2010

More people on US government assistance than ever before

More people in the US than ever before are using government assistance programs. Food stamps, medicare and similar programs expanded to help more people during the economic recession and there are no signs of the rolls shrinking.

From USA Today, writer Richard Wolf breaks down the numbers and looks into what it means for the US economy.

More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the federal-state program aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows. That's up at least 17% since the recession began in December 2007.

"Virtually every Medicaid director in the country would say that their current enrollment is the highest on record," says Vernon Smith of Health Management Associates, which surveys states for Kaiser Family Foundation.

The program has grown even before the new health care law adds about 16 million people, beginning in 2014. That has strained doctors. "Private physicians are already indicating that they're at their limit," says Dan Hawkins of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years.

Caseloads have risen as more people become eligible. The economic stimulus law signed by President Obama last year also boosted benefits.

Close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, nearly four times the number from 2007. Benefits have been extended by Congress eight times beyond the basic 26-week program, enabling the long-term unemployed to get up to 99 weeks of benefits. Caseloads peaked at nearly 12 million in January — "the highest numbers on record," says Christine Riordan of the National Employment Law Project, which advocates for low-wage workers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

why does no one realize that this problem has escalated since allowing refugees to freely move into this country. they do not practice birth control then the offspring are in the welfare system. hard working americans can no longer afford to have families. maine talks of getting them out of the welfare system but only deny them one program and give the state money from another program-the funds are all taxpayor dollars regardless of the name of the program.
how can anyone not realize why the american people are angry when the refugees receiving government money drive better vehicles than the hard working americans. refugees qualify for home loans at 1% interest while hard working americans face foreclosure.
i would bet this comment will not be approved for posting because it is "not politically correct". I AM A HARD WORKING, TAX-PAYING US CITIZEN WHO IS FED UP WITH THE UNCARING POLITICIANS IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY!