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TRAGIC: 49 percent of Americans receive government benefits

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 24th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It was over two years ago - but the findings are devastating. It appears that in the fourth quarter of 2011, 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to data released by the Census Bureau, 151,014,000 Americans - out of a population estimated to be 306,804,000, received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. These beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.

This figure included 82,457,000 people, or a whopping 26.9 percent of the population lived in households in which one or more people received Medicaid benefits.

The figures are uniformly grim. Of the other government programs during that period: 49,901,000 who collected Social Security; 49,073,000 who got food stamps; 46,440,000 on Medicare; 23,228,000 in the Women, Infants and Children program, 20,223,000 getting Supplemental Security Income;13,433,000 who lived in public or subsidized rental housing; 5,098,000 who got unemployment; 3,178,000 who got veterans' benefits; and 364,000 who got railroad retirement benefits.

With little employment opportunity and higher costs of living, people who never saw themselves in this position are now using link cards and Medicaid to scrape by.

"I've been on the Link card for over a year, and only close family and friends know about it, because it is embarrassing. I don't want to have to ask for help from anybody," one fresh Welfare mother says. "I grew up in a family where you worked hard for what you get. I never wanted to ask for help for anything, but I needed it. When I got to the grocery store and ring it through the credit card machine, I put my fingers over the its so people don't know it's a Link card."

When Obamacare is fully implemented on Jan. 1, 2014, Americans earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level will qualify for a federal subsidy to buy health insurance.

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