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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

A Plethora of Anti- Poverty Programs

Over 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA Today shows (USA Today, August 30, 2010).  That’s up about 17 % since the recession began in December 2007.

Medicaid grew even before ObamaCare added about 16 million people, beginning in 2014.  That has strained doctors.  Private physicians are already indicating that they’re at their limit, according to Dan Hawkins of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

In excess of  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.

Over 10 million are on unemployment insurance (about four times the number from 2007); benefits have been extended by Congress eight times beyond the basic 26-week program, allowing the long-term unemployed to get up to 99 weeks of benefits; caseloads peaked at nearly 12 million in January.

Over 4.4 million people are on welfare, an 18% increase during the recession.

As caseloads for all the programs have soared, so have costs:

1. The cost for Medicaid increased 36% in two years, to $273 billion.
2. Jobless benefits have risen from $43 billion to $160 billion.
3. The food stamps program has jumped 80% to $70 billion.
4. Welfare has increased 24% to $22 billion.

We should all fear that these expanded safety net programs won’t contract after the economy recovers. I think you can bet on that.

One Response to “A Plethora of Anti- Poverty Programs”

  1. DANIEL GARSHMAN Says:

    LORD HELP THOSE OF US WHO WORK DILIGENTLY, & PAY FOR THOSE PROGRAMS. PITY EVEN MORE OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS WHO MAY NEVER STOP PAYING FOR ALL OF IT.

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