facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Number on government assistance climbing

Aug. 30, 2010 at 2:12 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- One in six Americans receives some form of government aid because of effects of the recession that started in 2007, a review of data indicates.

More than 50 million people are on Medicaid, a program principally designed to help the poor, and nearly 10 million Americans receive unemployment benefits, USA Today said Monday in a report based on data from state officials.

"Virtually every Medicaid director in the country would say that their current enrollment is the highest on record," said Vernon Smith of Health Management Associates, a company that compiles data for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

More than 40 million people now receive food stamps, a jump of nearly 50 percent since the recession began, the report said. The unemployment rate in the United States remains above 9 percent.

Additionally, the number of people receiving welfare benefits has increased more than 18 percent, to more than 4.4 million, since the recession began, the newspaper said.

Critics of expanding government aid such as welfare and food stamps are concerned the numbers won't decline once the economy recovers, but anti-poverty experts said the benefits are justified.

"They're much harder to unwind in the long term," said the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner. The institute is a Washington think tank.

LaDonna Pavetti of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the assistance is justified.

"We should be there to support people when the economy can't," she said.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Merkel urges Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine Merkel urges Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine
2
Lindsey Graham fears ISIS will come kill us all, in a not at all hysterical way Lindsey Graham fears ISIS will come kill us all, in a not at all hysterical way
3
Rush Limbaugh: Women actually are consenting when they say 'no' Rush Limbaugh: Women actually are consenting when they say 'no'
4
American man detained by South Korean marines American man detained by South Korean marines
5
Venezuela's Socialist Party unveils new prayer 'Our Chavez who art in heaven' Venezuela's Socialist Party unveils new prayer 'Our Chavez who art in heaven'
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback