Trapped in America's Safety Net One Family's Struggle
Author: Andrea Louise Campbell
publisher: University of Chicago Press
publisher Date: 09/15/2014
Schools: Temple University，University of South Carolina，Tufts University，University of Chicago，Boston University，Johns Hopkins University
Description: Campbell’s book revolves around the experiences of her brother’s family when his pregnant wife suffered a horrific accidentleaving Marcella a quadriplegicwithout health insurance. Yet the accident was more than a physical and emotional tragedy. It was an economic tragedy that hurtled Marcella and Dave out of what passes today as the middle class into the world of means-tested social assistance programs. A world where, like tens of millions of other Americans, they find themselves trapped in the “safety net” of public programs for the poor. As a social policy expert who has taught at Harvard and at MIT, Campbell thought she knew a lot about these programs. This eye-opening and disturbing book tells us what she learned. Passionate, but clear-eyed, it compellingly traces her brother’s family’s Dickensian odyssey through America’s health insurance and other social insurance programs. Using her brother’s family and her own situation as examples, she reveals the many shortcomings and inequities of America social policy that leave people exposed to tremendous risk. Nowhere else among advanced industrialized democracies can a single accident render a person bankrupt, or forever impoverished. Nowhere else can one’s economic fate differ so much from one state to another within the same country. And, far from being too generous and breeding dependency, many of our means-tested programs are perversely structured not to give people a hand up, but to keep them trapped in poverty. Behind the statisticsbeyond the ideological battles over social assistance programsare human beings whose lives are molded, distorted, and diminished by the very policies purported to help them. In showing how and why this happens, Trapped in the Safety Net offers a way to change it.