Welfare & Medicaid, Race & Sex


In Onondaga County, according to statistics provided by Dept. of Social Services Commissioner David Sutkowy, the following are racial statistics for people receiving services.

Racial Statistics                                            White             Black              Hispanic

Medicaid                                37,663            18,374                        4,773

Food Stamps                         30,062           19,728                        4,740

Temporary Assistance           4,171                          6,348            1,461  

White, black and Hispanic are the three largest groups; smaller groups are Asian, Native American, Pacific Islanders, “unspecified,” “other” or “unknown.”  And, yes, the distinction between those last three categories puzzles me, too, particularly because there are more “unspecified” people receiving Medicaid than Hispanics, that is, 5001 to 4773. 

Please keep in mind that the discussion in this section is not about the dollar value of services; it is about the number of people approved to receive services, e.g., what is being reported is how many people get Food Stamps, not how much they get in Food Stamps.

The biggest group is white people getting medical insurance.  Only half as many black people are getting medical insurance.  More black people are getting Food Stamps than Medicaid.  About fifty percent more white people than black people are getting help with the groceries.  About twenty-five percent more black people than white people are getting Welfare.

The overall figures show that for every fourteen people receiving Temporary Assistance there are sixty people getting Food Stamps and seventy getting Medicaid.  However, among white people, there are about forty thousand getting Medicaid, thirty thousand getting Food Stamps, but only four thousand getting Welfare.  Among black people, about twenty thousand are getting Medicaid and Food Stamps, but six thousand are getting Welfare.

According to the Census Bureau, in Onondaga County 84% of the residents are white, 10% are black, and 3% are Hispanic.  The racial ratio, therefore, is 27-3-1.

The ratio of human beings receiving assistance via Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Welfare is 5:4:1.  Overall, for every person who is getting Welfare, four people are getting Food Stamps and five people are getting Medicaid.  However, this ratio does not hold true when broken down by race.  Among whites, the ratio is 10:8:1; among blacks 3:3:1, and among Hispanics 5:5:2.

Proportional to the overall ratio of people receiving services, twice as many whites have Medicaid and Food Stamps; blacks have proportionally less Medicaid and Food Stamps, and Hispanics have average Medicaid, slightly more Food Stamps, and twice as many people on Welfare.  Of course, that “twice as many” is 1,461 people out of a county with 454,753 people.  It’s an itsy bitsy figure; let’s focus on the big stuff.

Why are whites getting double their share of Medicaid and blacks only getting 3/5’s their share?  Here are a few possibilities that occur to me: 

  • Whites are more unhealthy than blacks;
  • Whites run to the doctor at the drop of a hat whereas blacks are more self-reliant and better at self-care;
  • Whites seek salvation in medical care; blacks find salvation in church;
  • When whites apply for Medicaid they are approved at a higher rate than when blacks apply. 

Maybe we should go ask poor black people why they don’t have Medicaid, then go teach it to poor white people.

Proportionally, almost three times as many whites are getting Food Stamps as blacks.  How is that possible?  The only answer that comes to my mind is that the Dept. of Social Services is discriminating against blacks.  I hope to God I’m wrong.  The other possibility is that I’ve totally screwed up the interpretations of the figures.  I would not mind being wrong.

Sex

You gotta see this one to believe it, direct from the DSS spread sheet:

Sex      Food Stamps             Temp Assist              Medicaid

F          32,898                       7,627                           39,960

M        25,210                                    6,093                          28,849

U                                                182                                708

Honest to God, 708 U’s are getting Medicaid.  Boy, I’d watch out for them, whether they’re unspecified or unknown.  Even transgender people declare a sex, even if it’s not one they want, so I don’t know who these U’s are.

In every category there are more poor women receiving services than poor men.  Throughout the world and the history of the human race, men have been the providers for women.  In America in 1965 the birth control pill came on the market.  This was followed more-or-less immediately by women becoming liberated and, now, poor.  The last time I checked, the average woman’s income was only three-quarters the average man’s income—he gets a dollar, she gets 75 cents.

And, of course, it has become legally and socially acceptable not to get married anymore.  Men and women have kids together then the man walks away and the women and children are left in poverty.

For every 40 women who receive Medicaid, only 29 men do.  For every 33 women who receive Food Stamps, only 25 men do.  For every 8 women who are on Welfare, only 6 men are.

So today’s lesson is that poor people are white and female.  Next we’ll try to sort out the ages and locations of poor people.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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5 Responses to Welfare & Medicaid, Race & Sex

  1. Owen says:

    I would like to post this article to my FB page. How can I do that?

  2. “The last time I checked, the average woman’s income was only three-quarters the average man’s income—he gets a dollar, she gets 75 cents.”

    When was the last time you checked? This myth has been dis-proven by the Independent Women’s Forum many times over.

    “We at IWF have always refuted the idea, so beloved of radical feminists, that there is a huge, discrimination-driven wage gap between what women and men earn for similar jobs.

    If you factor in women’s choices (to take years off to be at home with children, for example), you get a miniscule wage gap, and, in some instances, younger, college-educated women in urban centers, women out-earn men.”

    http://www.iwf.org/blog/2787227/Chained-To-Her-Desk!

    “Men and women have kids together then the man walks away and the women and children are left in poverty.”

    The man walks away? Women file for divorce over 75% of the time. Women and only women have choice in reproduction. Women can abort and there is nothing the father can do to prevent it. If the father does not want the responsibility of becoming a father, there is nothing he can do to prevent the mother from having the baby and forcing him to pay child support for 18 or more years. (often he may not actually be the father either) The woman can have the baby and turn it over to a safe haven location in most areas and she can walk away from all her responsibility no questions ask. Men have no choice so women do not have to be saddled by any responsibility she does not want to have.

    Our society glorifies single mothers. Women can get welfare and other government assistance much easier than men. I for one applied for assistance to pay my rent in Onondaga county around 1968 when I had a serious arm injury but could only get it after almost a dozen attempts while I saw women go in and get it the first time they applied.

    As the director of Shattered Men, I have talked to hundreds of men who have had to move in with their parents while their ex has a nice house. Some of these men were living in cars but in several cases, the women kept the house he owned outright before he got married to the women who kept his house. I have also talked to many women who have verified the above so it is NOT men loving and leaving women that make these women poor.

    • annecwoodlen says:

      Dear Shattered Man,

      My statement about men earning $1.00 and women only earning 75 cents was based on a news story I read within the past six months. Regretfully, I did not make note of the source. It surprised me because I believed that wages had become far more equal. I was reporting current wage disparity, not a woman’s lifetime earnings.

      You are talking about divorced women; I was talking about all women. You say, “If the father does not want the responsibility of becoming a father, there is nothing he can do . . .” Yes, there is: he can refrain from having sex—the woman can, too. Men and women are having sex without marriage, then the man walks away. The woman lives with the baby in her body and rarely abandons it after birth.

      You state that “Our society glorifies single mothers.” You provide no evidence to support that view, nor do I know of any such evidence. There no longer is a stigma against single mothers (more’s the pity) but that’s not the same as glorifying them.

      Your denial of Welfare at a time when you saw women being approved for it is a statement without merit. You had no access to the financial data about those women, likewise you do not provide your own financial data. A difference in sex is easily observable; a difference in financial need is not. People sometimes want government financial support for which they do not qualify. Maybe you were one of them or maybe you were being discriminated against because you were a male—I have no way of knowing.

      Furthermore, you are talking about something that occurred forty-four years ago. In 1968, African-Americans were still being shot for trying to claim their rights under civil law, feminists were protesting the Miss America Pageant, and young men were protesting the military draft. As a nation, we were just beginning to fight inequality. My essay was reporting present-day statistics from the Dept. of Social Services; your comment was an anecdote from a long time ago.

      Finally, I wrote about who the poor people are; you are talking about who gets screwed over in court. They are not the same thing.

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