Census: 49% of Americans Get Gov’t Benefits; 82M in Households on Medicaid

By Terence P. Jeffrey | October 23, 2013 | 4:51pm EDT

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, President Barack Obama and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the White House on March 23, 2010, the day Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (White House Photo/Pete Souza)

(CNSNews.com) - In the fourth quarter of 2011, 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.

This included 82,457,000 people--or 26.9 percent of the population--who lived in households in which one or more people received Medicaid benefits.

Also among the 151,014,000 who received benefits from one or more government programs during that period: 49,901,000 who collected Social Security; 49,073,000 who got food stamps; 46,440,000 on Medicare; 23,228,000 in the Women, Infants and Children program, 20,223,000 getting Supplemental Security Income;13,433,000 who lived in public or subsidized rental housing; 5,098,000 who got unemployment; 3,178,000 who got veterans' benefits; and 364,000 who got railroad retirement benefits.

When Obamacare is fully implemented on Jan. 1, 2014, Americans earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level will qualify for a federal subsidy to buy health insurance.

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