Andrew Sullivan – Is Poverty Worse Than We Realize?

15 Nov

The republicans want to “reform”  Social Security. Cut back who knows what, —- who knows how much.

The republicans want to let Americans “shop around” for the best health care. An easy thing for sick people to do. Sick people have soooooo much power in that situation. They can bargain for the best deal, I’m told.

Voucher systems won’t stand a chance in keeping up with skyrocketing health care costs in the private sector. Govenment is the only entity big enough to be able to even hope to push back against for-profit health care.

There is no freaking way that any party could pick two policies that would hurt millions upon millions of americans more.

Spm programs

Dylan Matthews analyzes what the “supplemental poverty measure” – a new Census bureau metric (pdf) that, unlike the “official” poverty rate, accounts for welfare programs – reveals about how poverty affects different demographic groups:

Overall, [the SPM is] higher than the official measure, at 16.1 percent, but for some groups, such as children under 18 and blacks, it’s actually lower. By contrast , it’s much higher for the elderly (15.1 percent in the supplemental measure, 8.7 percent in the official one) and Asian-Americans (16.9 percent supplemental, 12.3 percent official), and slightly higher for those 18-64, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites.

Matthews digs into which government programs have the biggest impact:

Medical expenses are the main expense contributor to poverty, followed by expenses related to work (such as transportation, supplies, etc.), while Social Security is far and away the most important program for reducing poverty….

[T]he Social Security number is especially notable given how much higher the supplemental measure is than the official one for the elderly. It suggests that even with that substantial safety net, the poverty problem among the elderly is much bigger than we thought.

1 Comment

Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Economy, Health, Politics


One response to “Andrew Sullivan – Is Poverty Worse Than We Realize?

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