Trapped in America's Safety Net

Trapped in America's Safety Net

One Family's Struggle

Andrea Louise Campbell

Universal policies recognize that nearly everyone, not just the poor, needs help with the big-ticket items in life. They give support to all with these needs, providing considerable financial relief to the middle class while helping lower-income people in a stigma-free way. In addition, they make it easier to leave poverty, because they don’t have the benefit cliffs and phaseouts that means-tested programs do. Additional areas in which such a program design might be used include universal child care and preschool, universal paid family leave, and universal health insurance. To this list I would add a social insurance program for long-term care so that the disabled of any age don’t have to impoverish themselves to get assistance.

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