Ongoing Issue of Poverty in America

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 I believe there are many causes for poverty in the United States today. The first cause being unwed parents bearing children. Children born into a family with parents that aren’t married have been found to be seven times more likely to live in poverty, than children born into a family with married parents. It can be difficult to support and take care of all the needs of a child on one paycheck, which can cause a downward spiral into poverty. The second cause being dependency. People who are dependent on others to support them, will often turn to the government for assistance, and are far more likely to live in poverty. The government provides these people welfare. Welfare provides money for food, utilities, rent and other necessities. This form of government assistance traps people into staying dependent and remaining in poverty, because it doesn’t encourage people to become independent and join the workforce. When children grow up in households where they have not seen family members go to work, welfare often becomes a cyclical with the next generation. Therefore, it has the opposite effect on some people, making them dependent on a free paycheck and encouraging people to not work.

Lastly, I believe a big cause of poverty in America today is a lack of education. If you can’t read or write, do basic math, and apply yourself then you won’t have the skills to succeed at a job so you can support yourself and a family. Getting a proper education, or learning a trade is the key to a getting good job with good benefits. Without an education it's hard to find a decent paying job that provides good benefits. I strongly believe that in most cases, a person is responsible for their current situation due to the poor choices they have made. For example people have the option to get married before having children. People can get out and get a job so they don’t have to rely on others to provide them with the resources to meet their basic needs.

Medicare and Medicaid are two forms of health care that were created to help two different groups of people. Medicare was created for people sixty five and older regardless of their income, and Medicaid was created for people of any age with a very low income. Medicare is an insurance program. Although Medicare is primarily for those sixty five and older, it also serves younger people who are disabled, as well as people on dialysis. The medical bills are paid from trust funds, which people enrolled in medicare have paid into. Medicare is a federal program and is basically the same everywhere in the United States. It is run by an agency of the federal government. Medicaid on the other hand is an assistance program that is for people of all ages, with a very low income. People on Medicaid pay little to no cost for covered medical expenses. Sometimes patients on this program will have to pay a small co-pay. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is a federal state program meaning it varies from state to state and is run by local governments. People enrolled in Medicaid are not payed money. Instead, it sends payments directly to their health care providers. The last main difference between these two programs is what costs they cover. Medicare is divided into three parts. Part A is for hospital services, Part B for doctor visits, and lastly part D for prescription drug costs. Medicaid covers almost all those areas in a single a program. These two programs are not similar, other than the fact that they are both government programs and both help people pay for health care. I personally believe that Medicare and Medicaid can be beneficial for people in need of health care, but neither are as good as private insurance. Both programs are overpaid by the government and need to be reformed.

The main program associated with feeding the poor in America is SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Food stamps is one of the six major welfare programs. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP provides a monthly supplement for buying nutritious foods. If you qualify for SNAP, the benefits of it are given to you monthly on an EBT card, which works just like a debit card. It is a nutrition program. SNAP benefits can be used at any grocery store and is a federal entitlement program. This means that anyone eligible for this program will receive it. Another program for feeding the poor in the U.S. today is the National School Lunch Program or NSLP. NSLP is a federally assisted meal program available at public schools, nonprofit private schools, and residential childcare. It provides nutritionally balanced school lunches, that cost little to no money. These lunches are provided to children each day, if they qualify for the program.

WIC, which stands for Women, Infants, and Children is another program provided to poor people in America. WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, nutrition education for low income pregnant, breastfeeding and non breastfeeding women and to children up to the age of five. There are many other programs to help feed the poor as well, such as the School Breakfast Program (SBP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Although all these programs can be very helpful for the poor, they all need to be reformed because too many people are dependent on them. All of these programs were designed to be used for a short period of time, just to help people get back on their feet after experiencing a hardship and, but the system is set up in a way that some people can cheat their way through it, and not have to get a job. All of these programs have become a work replacement system. Instead of encouraging people to get a job in order to provide for themselves and their families and gain independence, it encourages families not to work and to stay at home, because the government will just provide for them.

Social Security is the largest federal government program. Social Security began when the act was signed into law by president Roosevelt on August 14th, 1935. The social security act was created to be a social insurance program designed to pay retired Americans that are sixty five and older an income after retirement, but Social Security was never meant to be the only source of income for the retired. It consists of two programs, Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance. The current social security system works in a way that working Americans pay taxes into social security. That money is used to pay benefits to people who are retired, disabled, and people who have had family members die. But the money workers pay in taxes isn’t held into a personal account for themselves until they can receive the benefits, instead the government uses the workers taxes to pay people who are receiving benefits currently. The problem with social security right now, is that the money is running out. This program will be one of the main causes of federal spending and debt over the next decade. In 2016 the government spent almost $910 billion on Social Security benefits. Social Security payroll tax doubled more than its initially promised limit of 6 percent. According to The Heritage Foundation, The current payroll tax is 12.4 percent. That tax is taken from almost every worker’s paycheck and doesn’t even come close to covering Social Security’s costs. Social security is running out because more people are receiving the benefits and fewer people are paying into it. Although it seems like the easy solution to the problems with social security would be to get rid of it as a whole, we really shouldn't. When this act was passed by the government in 1935, Americans were promised social security. The only way to fix the problem of bankruptcy with social security, would be to reform it.

Obama created the Affordable Care Act as a means of getting more people covered on health care insurance. Obama Care is flawed because it limits the freedom of patients. Instead of patients and their doctors being able to make their own healthcare decisions, the government makes the decisions. Many health clinics and hospitals don't accept Medicaid, and because of this, millions of people don’t get to choose their own doctor, hospital, or even their health treatment. Another major problem with Obama care is health insurance premiums have gone up tremendously. Not only have premiums increased, so have deductibles. According to the Daily Wire, Obama Care deductibles are set to increase by seventeen percent for all silver plans, six percent for bronze plans, and a total for twenty one percent for all people who don’t qualify for the subsides. On top of all of this, Obama Care is also increasing waiting times in emergency rooms, which leads into another problem in which there is a shortage of primary care doctors. Obama Care has deterred people from wanting to go into the medical field because it’s becoming harder for doctors to find patients. It’s harder to find patients, because not all health clinics accept Medicaid patients. If a clinic doesn’t accept Medicaid patients, those enrolled in the program can’t attend that clinic. I think that Obama Care needs to be changed in order for it to improve. Unfortunately, I do not think a full repeal of Obamacare will happen for a long time, if ever, but the way to fix it is by creating more choices in the marketplace, deregulating the unhealthy regulations in the legislation and allowing personal choice. If the government could completely reform obama care and fix the issues with it, then it would be the answer to helping the poor get proper healthcare. The Unaffordable Care Act should be officially renamed, Obama Care.   

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Ongoing Issue of Poverty in America. (2021, Mar 01). Retrieved June 24, 2024 , from

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