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Lecture 9 american social protection and welfare 2016
“Welfare is hated by those who
administer it, mistrusted by those who
pay for it and held in contempt by those
who receive it.”
—Peter C. Goldmark, Jr.
Eight Categories of Welfare
Programs and Total Costs,
Medical Aid: $282 billion, 54%
Cash Aid: $102 billion, 20%
Food Aid: $39 billion, 7%
Housing Aid: $36 billion, 7%
Education Aid: $30 billion, 6%
Other Services: $22 billion, 5%
Jobs and Training Aid: $8 billion,
Old-Age and Survivors
Insurance: retirement pensions to which
all Americans over 65 are entitled
Disability Insurance / Unemployment
Insurance / Health insurance
Medicare: Medical care for the over 65
Welfare: social protection for the
Medicaid: medical coverage for the poor.
Food Stamps (Vouchers that can be
exchanged for food)
Temporary Assistance for
(most often single mothers with children)
Paid by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Provides food for low-income people, and
subsidies to farmers.
Unlike Britain or France the US has no
national free healthcare system
Americans required to purchase insurance
privately or through employer, or else pay
for treatment upfront.
Helps pay hospital and medical costs
Anything not paid by Medicare is often
paid through supplemental insurance
as medical costs rise the elderly are paying
more for their health care
There is no long-term care provision for
Pays for health care for:
low income families with children
low income elderly
people with disabilities
65 million Americans received Medicaid in
An Imperfect safety net
People can buy individual
insurances but these are
very expensive. (15% of
the population without
However when illness
strikes, people postpone
American medicine the most
sophisticated and innovative in the
But reflects growing inequalities
Disparities resulting from
infant mortality rate is
2.4 times higher than
that of white infants
30% higher death rate
for all cancers
Seven times more likely
to die from HIV / AIDS
Five times more likely
to develop glaucoma
Hispanics and Latinos
twice more likely to die from diabetes
20% of new cases of TB
Higher rates of high blood pressure and
American Indians & Alaskan
Diabetes rates that are
twice the national
death rates from
Prices regularly increasing (15% a year)
Reasons Why People Sue TheirReasons Why People Sue Their
Advised to sue by influential otherAdvised to sue by influential other 3232
Needed moneyNeeded money 2424
Believed there was a cover-upBelieved there was a cover-up 2424
Child would have no futureChild would have no future 2323
Needed informationNeeded information 2020
Wanted revenge, licenseWanted revenge, license 1919
Percent ExpressingPercent Expressing
Source - Hickson, 1992
Soaring Costs (drugs)
Drugs are 3 times higher than in Britain
and 6 times higher than in Brazil
The United States leaves pricing to
Population aging &
higher life expectancy.
By 2030 the baby boomers will be retiree
Medicare and social security place an
increasing burden on workers.
Possible solutions are to increase the
First major US healthcare.
Aims to extends health insurance to the
15% of US population without coverage.
Subsidies to make coverage affordable.
Requirement on businesses to offer
employees healthcare plans
More control on insurance companies
Young people are allowed to remain on
their parents’ plans until the age of 26.
Why does Trump want to repeal
President Trump has called Obamacare
an “incredible economic burden”
He proposes a return to free market
principles for the health care sector.
Welfare and Public Opinion
Why do Americans hate welfare?
Welfare associated with racial prejudice.
Americans value autonomy self-reliance and self-
The poor are regarded as responsible for their fate.
Welfare is thought to be a wasteful program
encouraging laziness and fraud.
An insult to the American work ethic