[NEW] Refusing to Expand Medicaid: Political Decisions with Deadly Consequences

by Fred Kammer, SJ

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) had three major provisions to promote expanded health coverage to Americans: a mandate for employers with fifty or more full-time employees to provide health insurance; an individual mandate to purchase insurance (with federal subsidies to assist families with incomes below 400% of the federal poverty level); and expansion of Medicaid coverage to all individuals with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level.  (138% of the federal poverty line is now $16,105 per year for an individual or $27,310 for a family of three.) In addition, the ACA created on line markets (“exchanges”) to promote insurance competition, prevented exclusion of people from coverage for pre-existing conditions, eliminated annual or lifetime dollar limits on insurance benefits, and allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until 26 years old. MORE>>

The KIDS COUNT Gulf South: Children in the region continue not to count much! [JustSouth Quarterly, Summer 2014]

By Fred Kammer, S.J.

In recent years, scholars and policy-makers have developed alternative measures of "poverty" that look at a range of issues in measuring human well-being beyond the simpler economic "poverty line." While there are a variety of such measures, the one that gained acceptance internationally is the Human Development Report and its Human Development Index adopted by the United Nations Development Program in 1990.[1] The focus is more on the "human development' than 'poverty,' drawing on the work of economist Mahbub ul Haq at the World Bank in the 1970s. 

...Dr. Haq argued that existing measures of human progress failed to account for the true purpose of development-to improve people's lives. In particular, he believed that the commonly used measure of Gross Domestic Product failed to adequately measure well-being.[2] MORE>>



An Introduction to Poverty and Measures of Poverty

By Fred Kammer, SJ

Poverty is one of the three focus areas for the work of JSRI. In their 1986 book-length pastoral letter Economic Justice for All the US Bishops reminded us of the importance of confronting poverty in these words: "Dealing with poverty is not a luxury to which our nation can attend when it finds the time and resources. Rather, it is a moral imperative of the highest priority."

But what does it mean to speak of poverty in the United States? Drawing on the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, the bishops explained it this way, “By poverty, we are referring here to the lack of sufficient material resources required for a decent life.”  Then, in the next sentence, they acknowledge the complexity of the question, “We use the government’s definition of poverty, although we recognize its limits.” And a footnote introduces elements of the national debate about what we call “the poverty line.” [Continue on to MORE about measuring poverty and poverty in the Gulf South.]


The KIDS COUNT Gulf South: Children in the region continue not to count much! --Kammer

Raise the Minimum Wage! It's a Matter of Justice-- Kammer

The Affordable Care Act- Who, Why, and What?-- Kammer

The Relentless Assault on America's Hungry-- Kammer 

Labor Day justice: What's the real cost of your cheap, fast food? --Kammer

Where are the Jobs? Continuing Unemployment and Worse-- Kammer

Taxing the Poor: The Regressive Nature of State-Local Tax Systems--Kammer

The Tax Deal... and More Coming Horrors--Kammer


Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Slope, or the Common Good: The U.S. Debt and Deficit Crisis, Lame Ducks, and a New Responsibility--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and Global Financial Systems--Kammer

21 Million Americans Kept Out of Poverty: Social Security critical to income of millions--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and the Common Good--Kammer

Fairy-Tale or Worse? The Ryan-Romney Budget Plan and Catholic Moral Criteria--Kammer

Health Care Reform for Some: Governors play politics with health of low-income citizens -- Kammer

Does Relative Mobility "Cure" Inequality?--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and Distributive Justice--Kammer

Growing Economic Inequality Matters!: Why People of Faith Should Be Concerned--Kammer

The Common Good and Election 2012: It’s not about my business, my taxes, or my family -- Kammer

The Payday Shark in Your Bank Account -- Mikulich

Catholicism and Capitalism -- Kammer

No Relief in Sight: Persistent High Unemployment for African Americans and Latinos in Gulf South States -- Mikulich

 View all Poverty articles »

Related links

Banner Image: Brenda Ann Keneally/AmericanPoverty.org