KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

An Increasing Number Of Americans Rely On Government Benefits

The Wall Street Journal: Nearly Half Of U.S. Lives In Household Receiving Government Benefits
The pool of Americans relying on government benefits rose to record highs last year as an increasing share of families tapped aid in a weak economy. Some 48.6% of the population lived in a household receiving some type of government benefit in the second quarter of 2010, up a notch from 48.5% in the first quarter, according to Census data. …Experts predict recipient rolls will decline as the economy grows healthier, but the rising federal deficit has brought government spending, and particularly benefits programs, under closer scrutiny. House Republicans, for example, have proposed block-granting Medicaid (the federal-state health care program for the poor) in order to cut costs. The shift would put more of the responsibility on the states for both designing and paying for their health care programs (Murray, 1/17).

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