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Almost half of Americans can't pay for their basic needs Four in 10 Americans are struggling to pay for their basic needs such as groceries or housing, a problem even middleclass households confront, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. Despite the U.S. economy being near full employment, 39.4 percent of adults between 18 and 64 years old said they experienced at least one type of material hardship in 2017, according to the study, which surveyed more than 7,500 adults about whether they had trouble paying for housing, utilities, food or health care. The findings surprised researchers at the Urban Institute, who had expected to find high levels of hardship

among poor Americans but hadn't predicted so many middle-class families would also struggle to meet their basic needs. That may illustrate that a middle-class income "is no guarantee" of protection from hardship, said Michael Karpman, research associate at the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center and a co-author of the report. Against the backdrop of President Donald Trump's boasting about low unemployment and strong economic growth, the research adds nuance to the problems facing American families. Middle-class households tend to

struggle with paying their health care bills rather than utilities, for instance. Health care costs have outpaced wages and inflation, pushing more Americans into high-deductible plans, which can backfire when serious health problems arise. "A lot of people are looking at the fact that wages aren't keeping up with household costs as one reason families are having difficulty making ends meet," Karpman said. "Even for families with health insurance, they may be facing high deductibles that leave them facing high costs." Basic universal income: Testing a weapon against economic

insecurity The Urban Institute designed the study last year to get a baseline measure of hardship in anticipation of proposed cutbacks in federal safety-net programs, such as proposals to add work requirements to food stamps and Medicaid. Some states have already moved forward with such plans, such as Maine's work requirement for its food stamp recipients. The idea, Karpman said, is to return to the survey each year to measure how hardship is changing as federal and state policies cut back on support for low-income families. "We expect it'll increase the risk that families won't be able to meet their basic needs," he said….Read More

Union Plus, Benefits for working & retired union members & families

Working hard for union families since 1986 We Work Hard to Make Life a little Easier for You and Your Family Union Plus is a non-profit and we're the ONLY consumer benefits organization created and endorsed by the AFL-CIO. Here at Union Plus, our mission is to improve the quality of life for union members and their families, provide valuable benefits and services that strengthen the ties of union members to their unions and contribute funding to the labor movement. We believe that our country’s middle class was built by union-strong members like you, so we diligently research every benefit and tailor them to support you and other union members — we’re working hard, to make life a little easier for you. How it Works—Solidarity, Savings and Support  Stand in Solidarity—Did you know that there are more than 12 million union members in the United States? Because of our strength in numbers, we’re able to negotiate exclusive discounts and financial assistance programs just for union members and their families.  Savings and Unique Programs — Pay it Forward—We pass along the exclusive benefits we’ve negotiated on behalf of union members directly to you. These benefits and programs are FREE to union members and their families. There’s no membership —if you’re a current or retired union member or a family member — you’re in.  Supporting Union Workers and Union-Made Products—We’re union and we stand by union. We’re committed to supporting U.S.-based and union workers, right down to using union printers and union-made products in our offices and our staff are members of OPEIU, Local 2. We’ve negotiated with some of the biggest names and brands to get you the discounts you deserve and the benefits working union members need — such as hardship help, strike grants and disability benefits. We’ve got your back! If You’re Union — You’re Eligible As current and retired union members, you are automatically eligible for your union’s Union Plus Benefits — often times, your parents, spouse and children are also eligible. No Union Plus membership, No Fees, No Waiting Period, No Hassle. Don't have access to a union job? Consider joining Working America for free. What We Don't Do We don't manage or use any union membership dues to finance our budget or benefits. Period. We also don't manage any union pension funds or health care funds. Typically your union handles those benefits directly. How to Get Your Union Plus Benefits Getting started couldn’t be easier. Simply create a profile on our site, www.unionpluss.com, and start using your benefits and discounts today! For more information CLICK HERE Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 riarajap@hotmail.com • http://www.facebook.com/groups/354516807278/

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RI ARA September 2, 2018 E-Newsletter  

RI ARA September 2, 2018 E-Newsletter  

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