Free Essay. Social Welfare Programs

Published: 2023-03-21
Free Essay. Social Welfare Programs
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Social work Healthcare policy Community health Human services
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1442 words
13 min read

Social welfare programs are systems designed to offer assistance to needy people in society (Aravacik, 2018). The low privileged may either be a specific individual or family. Different governments in the world differ in the means of provision of social welfare programs in the community. Some states offer programs like childcare and housing assistance, while others provide health care services, food stamps, and unemployment compensation. American government provides Medicare, by the provision of grants to the needy through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The Medicare program has specific target groups, problems that it addresses, services it provides to the target group, sources of funds to finance the program, and roles that social workers do to support the Medicare program.

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Social problems addressed by Medicare

Medicare program is a health care service purposed to help individuals and families with their needs. In America, the program was created back in 1965, whereby the residents of the state depended on the employers for coverage to support the needy in society (Starr, 2018). The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services funded by the trusts of the United States of America treasury offer the Medicare programs to the needy in the nation today. Although there are other sources of health care, Americans still get grants from employer-sponsored insurance (Aravacik, 2018).

Target population

In America, Medicare is for people ranging from age of 65 years and above. Also, individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for at least 24 months access the Medicare program. Young people with Lou Gehrig's disease and end-stage renal disease also receive services from the program (Nunn, 2016).

Types of services and assistance provided by Medicare in America

The type of service provided depends on the types of Medicare. In America, there are different types of Medicare-eligible to people in a society, which include Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, Part D, and Medigap (Reckrey et al., 2014).

Medicare Part A provides hospital coverage with no premium costs, but some procedures can cost the patient in particular. Medicare Part B provides outpatient care to the people, but the service can sometimes delay. Medicare Part B involves a premium, low deductible costs, and coinsurance. Besides, Medicare Part C contains hospital and outpatient care, with its prices varying depending on plans. On the other hand, Part D covers drug prescription services, whereby the costs vary with income and methods. Finally, the Medigap covers out of pocket for Part A and Part B with deductible expenses, premium, and copay (Reckrey et al., 2014).

Sources of funds for Medicare in America

The health care services are financed by premiums paid by the Medicare beneficiaries and the taxpayers in the state. Also, revenue made by the government, social security benefits, and payments from countries and interests supports Medicare through the provision of funds. In America, Medicare is paid for through two trust funds that are; The Hospital Insurance Trust and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund (Davis, 2013).

The Hospital Insurance Trust is funded by payroll taxes, income taxes, interest, and Medicare premiums from people who are not eligible for Medicare Part A. The trust is used to pay for Medicare Part A benefits and Medicare program administration. Contrary, the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund is financed by premiums from people enrolled in Medicare Part B and D as well as from interest earned on the trust fund investments. The trust fund is used to pay for Parts B and D benefits together with Medicare program administration (Davis, 2013).

Roles of Social workers and Social work profession in America

Social workers are bodies that aim at helping people in society in enhancing their well-being. One of the roles that medical social workers play is being in charge of giving aid and resources such as drugs to the ill in society for them to recover. These illnesses may be mental, physical injuries, or emotional problems where the social workers and support groups, including the families of the sick, are approached, thus ensuring full recovery of the patients (Reckrey et al., 2014).

Finally, medical social workers act as advocates of the patients. The workers ensure that all the needs and desires, as well as the wishes of the patients, are followed. They assist in planning for the patients' health insurances where possible, communicating on patients behalf to healthcare providers as well as advocating for the rights of the patients by making and formulating policies (Reckrey et al., 2014)

Successfulness of Medicare in America

In America, high and new standards of clinical education have helped in the improvement of healthcare. The nurses, clinical officers, and doctors train to the full extent of their knowledge. These have led to increased delivery in the healthcare system, as the training they gain is comprehensive (Nunn, 2016).

Finally, the American government has established strict requirements for licensed professionals such as nurses, physicians, and clinical officers. The government has a body that is in charge of processing and giving licenses as well as license renewal. The organization has helped the American health system, whereby only the best and very qualified practitioners are licensed, thus improved healthcare (Nunn, 2016).

Recommended changes in policies and programs in Medicare

Proper training and comprehensive education should be given to the social workers' students. The aim is to help them be equipped with the right professional knowledge and help them improve healthcare by valuing their roles. Also, financial support policies should be embraced, thus ensuring the coordination of social workers in their line of duties. These will bring about the merging of both social workers and other support groups, hence improvement in health care. Besides, the United States should establish professional policies and programs that support the full extent of the social workers' training and acquisition of their licenses. These will help to meet the demand in the healthcare facilities of the patients who need social workers' assistance and support, which is growing day by day. Lastly, in America, patients who need social workers' help are diverse, and the growth is speedy. Therefore, medical education policies and programs like demonstration project programs should be made full. These policies will support students undertaking social work programs in addition to programs that only support the health providers such as nurses and doctors (Aravacik, 2018).

Relationship between theory, practice, and advocacy in American Medicare

Medicare advocacy is a national nonprofit organization that aims at helping older people and young people with disabilities get Medicare and quality healthcare. Advocates of the patients speak on their behalf, thus raising concerns of their wishes directly to the policymakers. For example, the policymakers in America views that by Medicare restraining its cost for inpatient care, private insurers pay high fees finally. To see this cost practice in Medicare, two theories, which are the dynamic cost-shifting theory and the other factors theory, are used (White, 2013).

The dynamic cost-shifting theory involves slowing Medicare payment rates growth to transfer the burden of funding hospitals to the private payers by not minimizing total spending on hospital care. On the other hand, the other factors theory argues that to slow the growth of individual premiums, other factors that can lead to their growth should be kept in check rather than the repeal of the affordable care acts (White, 2013).


In a nutshell, Medicare in America is essential and should be made affordable to all citizens. The government should harmonize tax collection and fund fully Medicare so that all classes of people in society can access it. The government should also go ahead to fund healthcare research so that the cure for some diseases termed as chronic can be found. Finally, proper support for the students' training for healthcare professionals should be implemented. These will ensure that they are given comprehensive training, which will improve the health standard of America at large.


Aravacik, E. D. (2018). Social Policy and the Welfare State. In Public Economics and Finance. IntechOpen.

Davis, P. A. (2013). Medicare financing. Amazon, Wiley Publishers.

Nunn, R. (2016). Occupational licensing and American workers. In Brookings.

Reckrey, J. M., Gettenberg, G., Ross, H., Kopke, V., Soriano, T., & Ornstein, K. (2014). The critical role of social workers in home-based primary care. Social work in health care, 53(4), 330-343.

Starr, P. (2018). Rebounding with Medicare: reform and counterreform in American health policy. Journal of health politics, policy, and law, 43(4), 707-730.

White, C. (2013). Contrary to cost-shift theory, lower Medicare hospital payment rates for inpatient care lead to lower private payment rates. Health Affairs, 32(5), 935-943.

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