Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Great news: Record number of Americans on public dole. One in six and growing..

Oh, it's growing alright..

For some, this will just prove how prescient Congress has been to create a vast network of social programs that combat poverty. Others may wonder what the endgame looks like when one in six Americans now receive public subsidies through Medicaid, unemployment, or other welfare programs. That ratio is a new record, according to USA Today:

Government anti-poverty programs that have grown to meet the needs of recession victims now serve a record one in six Americans and are continuing to expand.
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.

Think the Medicaid growth comes from the passage of ObamaCare in March? Think again. The expansion comes from the Great Recession and the loss of millions of jobs. The ObamaCare expansion will come on top of the additions to the enrollments over the last two years, and that has major implications for health care providers and customers alike:

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. READ MORE...

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