The Social Security Act signed into law in 1935 by President Roosevelt, changed the relationship between the people of America and the Federal government by introducing and committing to the concept of General Welfare(Martin & Weaver, 2005). Back in the 1930s, only a few American citizens had a private pension fund, which implied that only the wealthy and those who had extended families with means could rest assured that they had a safety net in times of economic distress. The rest of the citizens would have to depend on charity. PresidentRoosevelt’s expression of the concept of theprinciple of General Welfare points to the duty as a country to the elderly, infirm and widowed mothers with children(Martin & Weaver, 2005). A monthly check at retirement age is not all that Social Security was built to be as it also benefits others who could use the assistance and are not necessarily retirees for instance the disabled and the blind. Out of every six Americans, one person receives Social Security benefits, totaling to more than 52 million people and out of three Social Security beneficiaries, nearly one is not a retiree.
The enactment of the original concept of the Social Security program was only but the beginning as it paved ways for other programs such as the subsequent inclusion of all workers into the Social Security program through negotiations and the enactment of corresponding legislation. This was later followed by the passage of Medicaid and Medicare programs; the initial steps towards national medical coverage under President Lyndon Johnson(Ballantyne, 1989).All Americans now have a healthcare cover under the national medical insurance passed by Congress in the form of Affordable Care Act of 2010. The administration of funding for Medicaid and Medicare programs and monies needed to take care of unemployment benefits are dispensed to the state by the Social Security Administration(Ballantyne, 1989).
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