As our text points out (Segal, (2016). p. 14-1), the first social welfare policy in our nation was the U.S. Constitution which protected our individual and civil rights. I mention this first, as it has had the most significant impact on my life out of all the social welfare policies that influence it. Without the Constitution, we would not have the current government nor the policies it has produced – social welfare or otherwise. Because of our Constitution, the circumstances providing the subject matter and the opportunity to discuss it here exist. Without it, there would be no policy to discuss, and our right to do so and how we do so may have never come into existence either.
The second most impactful social welfare policy to affect my life is the Medicare and Medicaid Act (or, the Social Security Amendments of 1965). Our text describes Social Security as the social welfare policy affecting the highest number of people in our country, and we all interact with the program it created throughout our entire life span (Segal, (2016). p. 14-2c).
Because of Medicaid, I have health insurance that I could not afford on my own. This was first of vital importance to me when I became pregnant. At the time, I was too old to remain on my parent’s insurance but could not work due to injuries I had received several months before in an automobile accident. The accident made my need for health insurance even more critical because I could not afford the extensive prenatal care that my injuries, and any injuries that my daughter may have received in the accident, made necessary. Thanks to Medicaid, we both could access the medical attention we required throughout a complicated pregnancy and the expensive post-birth medical service my kiddo needed for several months afterward. I relied on Medicaid to help provide treatment during a second critical medical situation in 2021 when I had a heart attack that left me in a coma for several days and required an extensive (and extremely costly) hospital stay. I was unemployed at the time of the incident (thanks to COVID-related unemployment). I could not have afforded health insurance or care at that time without the assistance of Medicaid.
I am only mildly embarrassed to admit this, but before this week’s reading, I would not have immediately thought of our Constitution as a social welfare policy if asked to name the ones I know; and I am curious if the Constitution would have come immediately to the minds of any of you. Do you think a lack of immediate recall of this crucial document could indicate that an individual takes the Constitution for granted? Could it be that society does this as a whole? I would love any feedback you all may have regarding this.
I hope you all have a fantastic last week of the term, and I wish you luck in your future academic endeavors.
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