Finally, welfare policy needs to address the causes of poverty, not merely the symptoms. Among families with children, the collapse of marriage and erosion of the work ethic are the principal long-term causes of poverty. When the recession ends, welfare policy must require able-bodied recipients to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid. It should also strengthen marriage in low-income communities rather than ignore and penalize it.
These surveys show that most people whom the government defines as “in poverty” are not actually poor in any ordinary sense of the term. While material hardship does exist in the United States, it is restricted in scope and severity. Regrettably, the mainstream press rarely reports on these detailed surveys of living conditions.
In this paper we explore whether the specific design of a state's Children's Health Insurance Program has contributed to success in reducing the proportion of the targeted population that is uninsured, without a significant reduction in private coverage (that is, without crowd-out)? To answer these questions, we use three years of data (1998, 1999, 2000) from the Current Population Survey. Our research finds that the elimination of asset tests, phone information lines, and coverage for adults in low-income families all contribute to meeting these goals. ()