Social Safety Net Sustainability

Optimal health relies heavily on the synergy among physical, emotional and environmental factors. Americans achieve optimal health, as measured by length and quality, through their lifestyles choices and access to care. Disadvantageous and vulnerable circumstances impact the availability and accessibility of healthcare and influence lifestyles choices. The federal government created the Social Safety Net to mitigate the disadvantageous and vulnerable circumstances in 1934 as part of the New Deal Initiative (Moffitt, 2013).

In response to the economic challenges created by the Great Recession, the Federal government reduced funding for Social Safety Net services with continued risk of additional funding cuts despite increased use (Moffitt, 2013). In addition, the Budget Control Act of 2011 imposed budget sequestration resulting from the Super Committee’s efforts to reduce the $1.2 trillion national debt resulting from the Great Recession (Moffitt, 2013). At the same time, an increase in the number of individuals without viable, sustainable income offered the foundation on which to measure the economic impact of the Social Safety Net as well as provide evidence of the link between rising healthcare costs and declining health care outcomes with increased obstacles to accessing health care created from disadvantageous and vulnerable circumstances.


Moffitt, R. (2013, September 25). The Great Recession and the Social Safety Net. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 143-168.

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