Over 67 million low-income people in the U.S. rely on Medicaid for their health coverage.i Medicaid provides health care services to multiple populations, including low-income seniors, people with disabilities, children and some adults.
Medicare, combined with Social Security, has improved the economic status of older Americans and younger people with disabilities. Prior to Medicare, one-half of older Americans were uninsured and one-third were living in poverty. Today, with access to health care coverage, the poverty rate for
seniors is ten percent.
Social Security is among the nation’s largest programs serving children. About 4.3 million American children receive approximately $2.6 billion in Social Security benefits each month because at least one of their parents is disabled, retired or deceased.
Americans are historically concerned that they will not have saved enough money to provide for a reasonable standard of living in retirement. When older people were asked in a benchmark survey which they feared most – death or outliving their money in retirement – nearly two-thirds chose running out of money.
Social Security is a program that is vitally important to all Americans, but it is especially important to the financial security of women. Women live longer than men; on average, women today who reach age 65 outlive men by 2.5 years. These additional years of longevity increase the risk that women may outlive their savings or that their pensions may lose their purchasing power.