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Stereotypes: Why People Who Need Government Assistance

Decent Essays
The most pressing problem surrounding social insurance in the United States today is a faulty perception of who deserves to receive assistance from these programs – forwardly referred to simply as deservedness. The idea that two, equally in-need people can have different levels of deservedness creates inequity within social insurance systems. When members of society individually think about who deserves to receive assistance from the government, they subjectively consider the way they feel about the ‘type’ of person their evaluating to make their decision. Thus, the person deciding must often resort to the stereotypes they know about the ‘type’ of person at hand. On an aggregate level, the final decision of who receives assistance is made…show more content…
Like the previous example of our class activity, you can gather some information about the family to personally consider whether you think the people portrayed deserve help. In the opening of the book, Andrea Campbell gives us information about the couple’s job status, income, and family size, which allows the reader to make a first opinion on the family’s deservedness. Once this introduction is made, the reader can see the twists and turns that can lead a family into needing government help, which is often the part of the story that gets lost – as most assume those in poverty are there because of their own ambition or actions. The wife gets in an accident, which forces the couple to take an insurance plan from the California government that is designed to keep them in poverty by taking away their income after a set cap is reached (Campbell 2014). The book continues to take the reader through the experience of trying to survive on social insurance and means-tested programs (those where recipients must hold a job or other status to maintain benefits), and ends with three Chapters discussing the difficulties that means-tested programs create for those in poverty. By forcing the reader to, in some way, experience a very average story about surviving in poverty, the book forces the reader…show more content…
Early in the panel, Barbara Vinograde talked about how easily a monthly payment for private insurance can cripple a low-income family – as payments can often be large fractions of someone’s budget. Worse yet, Betsy Momany describes an all-to-common situation where those who do have certain government insurances can’t utilize them because care providers won’t take them in due to the lack of profitability when helping them. This occurs in a productivity-based system, where physicians are paid by the insurance companies, which leads them to accepts those insurances that pay them the most per visit. Further effects of this lack of assistance and care are things like obesity and diabetes amongst low-income children. According to Dr. Eleanor Lisa Lavadie-Gomez, major food companies work hard to get children addicted to sugary food, and they profit off of the fact that the poor can only buy processed food because they can’t afford to spend money of fresh food that could go bad. Because these families don’t have better options, they experience negative health consequences, which then go untreated when these children aren’t provided proper
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