Posted by Timica on .
The poverty rate would be substantially lower if the market value of in-kind transfers were added to family income. The largest in-kind transfer is Medicaid, the government health program for the poor. Let's say the program costs $7,000 per recipient family.
(a) If the government gave each recipient family a $7,000 check instead of enrolling them in the Medicaid program, do you think that most of these families would spend that money to purchase health insurance? Why?
(b) How does your answer to part (a) affect your view about whether we should determine the poverty rate by valuing in-kind transfers at the price the government pays for them? Explain.
(c) How does your answer to part (a) affect your view about whether we should provide assistance to the poor in the form of cash transfers or in-kind transfers? Explain.