Social insurance programs are funded by taxpayer dollars, but administered in a number of ways, often through a federal/state partnership.

Are Americans ready for an in-depth discussion of social insurance systems and how to improve them? At a time of deep partisan divisions and ongoing economic uncertainty, such policy discussions may seem academic to some Americans, but a new report from the Brookings Institution and The Hamilton Project (THP) says that the pandemic’s end and the ongoing debate on big new social spending initiatives should prompt a re-examination the nation’s approach to these programs.

The report, entitled “The social insurance system in the U.S.: Policies to protect workers and their families,” takes a deep look at the wide range of social insurance programs in the U.S., including education and workforce development, health, income support, nutrition, and housing. The authors of the paper looked at how the nation’s social insurance system is organized, how eligibility is determined, and how these programs affect poverty and inequality.

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