Social Insurance Programs and Their Key Issues

Social insurance programs play a crucial role in the lives of Americans both in times of crisis, as portrayed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in normal economic times. These programs help to cushion the economy by bolstering consumer spending power whenever the economic development slows. They have been shown to dramatically decrease the rates of poverty in the US, particularly among children and older adults. The supplemental poverty measure data shows an intense reduction in poverty rates in 2020 compared to 2019 (US Census Bureau 2020). Additionally, social insurance programs protected several Americans from economic deprivation during the 2020 pandemic (Abdoul-Azize & El Gamil, 2021). Therefore, I think social insurance programs are effective.

Socioeconomic factors significantly influence the eligibility for social insurance programs. This is because during an economic recession, more people become jobless and their incomes reduce making them eligible for the open-ended entitlement programs. Conversely, the programs offer less support when the economy is growing since fewer people qualify for the assistance. The social insurance programs are administered by different levels of government. Major programs such as Medicare are funded and provided by the federal government while others are administered by the states. Additionally, eligibility rules are set by different levels of government and this affects social insurance programs since different states will have different rules.

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References

Abdoul-Azize, H. T., & El Gamil, R. (2021). Social protection as a key tool in crisis management: Learnt lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Global Social Welfare, 8(1), 107-116. Web.

US Census Bureau. (2022). The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2020. Census.Gov. Web.

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