I am not an economist, and I cannot attempt to explain how we got here. I don’t know the answer for the whole country, I just know that people need help.
I wrote a version of this article before the Affordable Care Act when into effect. I didn’t think that I would need to share the information again. However, many states have NOT accepted the Expanded Medicaid program that the ACA had in place to take care of the “Working Poor”. Only about half of the states have accepted the money from the Federal government to implement this program.
That means that millions of people have fallen into the “crack” – they don’t qualify for the programs that Obamacare provides for “everyone”, and they don’t qualify for the established Medicaid progams because they do earn some money, or have some assets.
The activists have been pushing to raise the minimum wage to get working people out of this predicament.
Even professional people with a history of strong income and big houses are showing up for food banks and need help because they have not been able to replace their lost jobs.
There is a great report available on the internet called “Working Hard”. This report is part of the Working Poor Families Project. Their information is located at: http://www.aecf.org/initiatives/jobsinitiative/workingpoor.htm
You can download the pdf here http://www.workingpoorfamilies.org/pdfs/Working_Hard.pdf
One of the tables in this report is so revealing:
AMERICA’S LOW-INCOME WORKING FAMILIES
- One in four working families is low-income.
- Forty percent of minority working families are low-income, twice the
percentage of white working families.
- Of all children in working families, one third are in low-income
- A married couple heads more than half of low-income working families.
- While 35 percent of low-income working families have a parent who
did not complete high school, 42 percent have a parent with some postsecondary
More than half of low-income working families pay more than a third of their
income for housing; more than a third have a parent without health insurance.
Health care expenses can be catastrophic during a time of great illness for a family.
CNN titled an article Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies””. See the full article through the link below.
I present to you that even if you cannot afford health care insurance, or if you are in a program that does not cover as much care as you need, there are answers for you.
Find experts in your state and county that can tell you of any programs that you are eligible for.
If you have any diagnosed disabilities, then you can find your regional Center for Independent Living. http://www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html for your regional referral
If you are over 50, check with AARP at http://www.aarp.org/
Churches and ministries in your area that offer to help strengthen families
Research discount programs that are affordable for you
There are many organizations that offer discounted service on a sliding fee scale for people with lower incomes.
Call your local hospital and ask about programs for families with lower income.
There are answers out there, but it can be a lot of work to find them. For people who are new to having financial issues, they can go through a lot of emotional distress before finding their balance and the help that they need.
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