Do Government Programs Influence Family Life?

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Do government programs influence family life? Some of these programs are Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These programs have changed family life not only in a positive way, but also in a negative way. These programs are targeted at giving older citizen some form of money or medical care, while other programs are geared at taking money from the working class. Yes, government programs do influence family life today and have been since the nineteen-fifties. One of these programs is Medicare.

Medicare was founded in the nineteen-forties, is the nation’s largest insurance program, and covers over thirty-eight million Americans. It provides health insurance to people who are at least sixty-five years old, people who are disabled, and people with permanent kidney failure. There are two parts to Medicare: Hospital Insurance and Medical Insurance. Medicare has helped families ever since it was created. Many families benefit from Medicare, especially families with older people living in their homes.

Many older Americans require medication and they can pay for it using Medicare. In addition, whenever a person is required to go to the hospital for some form of medical attention, Medicare covers the visit. Many older Americans also live in nursing homes and Medicare can be used as a way to pay for those bills. This is helpful to people because medical bills can be quite expensive and many Americans do not have that kind of many to spend. Medicaid is a jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for low-income and needy people.

It covers approximately 36 million individuals including children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled, and people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments. If a spouse goes into a nursing home, the at-home/healthy spouse does not become penniless as in prior years. They are able to keep certain minimum and maximum amounts- called resource limits. Resource limits are half of the assets owned by the spouses when the first is admitted to a nursing home plus the house and other exempt assets.

The limits are adjusted for inflation and vary in different states. However, even here you have to know how to play the game. Assume that the minimum and maximum in a state are $16,000 and $75,000. If one has $200,000, then the maximum that can be retained by the healthy spouse is not one half but the $75,000 maximum. That would mean that Medicaid would take $125,000. Nevertheless, what one could do would be to spend $50,000 on needed repairs on a house and/or buy another car. Then there would be only $150,000 left and one half could be left to the healthy spouse.

Therefore, it would be worthwhile to spend money legitimately before one goes into a home. This is helpful to American families because the healthy spouse does not have to spend all of his or her money on the sick spouse. They are able to spend money on needed repairs to their house or even buy a new car or fix up the old one. Medicaid has helped family life over the past years in the way that the family has more money to spend on their lives, instead of spending it all on a sick loved one. Another program that was established by the government is Social Security.

Social Security is a social program that provides old-age benefits for retirees and their survivors, disability insurance for workers, and survivor benefits for dependents. As social insurance, the system does more than provide a base of income for the retired worker. It consciously redistributes wealth to adjust for other inequities in society and provides financial relief to many who might otherwise have to provide full support to aging or disabled relatives. Social Security does many things. For the poorest and most vulnerable elderly, it is their primary source of income.

For many families facing hardship following a death, disability or unanticipated retirement, the program lightens their burden. Social Security also protects nine out of ten workers and their families and provides benefits each month to more than three million children. Social Security does not do one thing. It does not contribute to the continued growth of the federal budget deficit. Social Security is totally self-funded, and its growing reserves provide a stable financial base for current and future retirees.

Americans do not have to worry about retirement because of this one program. It has influenced family life because the mother and father can retire early sometimes, which means they can stay at home with their children, and, in turn, makes a more tight family. There are more than just three programs that the government created to either help families, or, in some cases, hurt families. The three that were named above are geared at helping families by way of giving money back to them.

Families benefit greatly from these programs because not too many families can afford to keep a loved one in a nursing home, or pay for a loved one’s hospital or medication bills. Medicare and Medicaid are geared at these types of families. Social Security on the other hand is geared at helping people start a life after retirement. When most people retire, they need some sort of income to help them survive, and Social Security provides that income. Nonetheless, government programs do have an impact on family life, and will continue to into the next century.

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