Things were in disastrous shape in America before Covid struck.

America's treatment of the poor has been among the worst in the developed world. America is the only modern state that does not offer national health insurance as a right. It also is the only modern state that does not offer paid sick leave as a right. The minimum wage in America is back to where it was in the 1950s. We could go on. These issues are detailed in some of our other reports. The bottom line is that being poor in America was a disaster, a disgrace, and a deadly situation even before the Covid disaster.

During the Covid disaster, several relief programs were put in place to help working class and poor Americans survive the crisis. It still wasn't nearly enough for what is needed, given that America doesn't have much of a social safety net, but it was at least something. For two years, the United States had been federally funding several essential programs with the money released for the pandemic relief. These programs included child care, health care, food, and the forbearance of student loans.

But now President Biden has declared that America's state of emergency is over. Several pandemic-era safety net programs have already ended, and others will be coming to an end at roughly the same time in the Fall of 2023, creating a crisis for millions of American families. This is not just a financial threat, but this is a threat to the lives and safety of millions of Americans. It should be mentioned that in 2019, 183,000 deaths were associated with poverty. And according to the CDC, there are still around 500 Covid deaths in the U.S. every week. So the emergency is not "over."

Child Care Crisis September 2023:

Beginning September 30, 2023, states will face an end in federal child care investments that came from Covid relief. An alarming three million children are expected to lose access to child care services. Many child care centers will be closed. It will be a disaster for parents and children alike all over the country.

Subsidies for childcare, which were also a disaster in America before COVID. are being eliminated to back to where they were in 2019.

Child care cliff coming in September (Axios, 6-15-23)

Child Care Cliff: 3.2 Million Children Likely to Lose Spots with End of Federal Funds (The Century Foundation)

Survey finds around 4 in 10 child care providers expect to raise tuition when the grant program ends. (National Association for the Education of Young Children)

Medicaid Crisis March 2023:

For all too many poor Americans, the lack of health care has been a life-threatening emergency even before COVID. During COVID, Medicaid was expanded to help the poor.

As many as 18 million enrollees have been predicted to lose Medicaid coverage, according to a new analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. And this is already in the process of happening, given that the aid was ended in March.

Many people who were able to get Medicaid for health insurance during the COVID crisis will now be tossed out onto the street. It is very unclear how this is being done and it is very unclear whether these people are being correctly removed. What is clear is that this is a bureaucratic nightmare and the millions of people who are being removed and having their health insurance ended are going to have a very difficult time getting their health insurance reestablished.

Medicaid Enrollment and Unwinding Tracker (KFF, 7-18-23)

The Student Debt Crisis October 2023:

Student loan payments will be due again in October 2023.

America has an insane system of saddling its young people with immense amounts of debt that cannot be canceled via bankruptcy. These student loans were put on hold during the Covid crisis. President Biden promised to get rid of at least $10,000 of student debt. Yet he did not bother putting this promise into his legislative program. He then broke that promise, and came up with a very poorly organized plan to give student debt relief using the Covid emergency as an excuse. But then he proceeded to announce the Covid emergency was over. Not very surprisingly the Supreme Court struck down Biden's plan, so student debtors in America are in a very difficult position. Now Biden has proposed some relief in light of his incompetence in dealing with the situation. But it remains to be seen whether this will be successful or not.

Warning: Student loan cliff ahead (Axios, 7-10-23)

Food Stamp Crisis March and October 2023:

And as of March 1st, 2023, the food stamp benefits added during Covid were taken away from 32 states. Recipient households had their monthly grocery allocations reduced by at least $95. (NBC News)

Work requirements for food stamps will come back into effect this fall in October. Work requirements are an ineffective policy. This policy will result in 500,000-1 million people being cut off from food aid this October.

About 500,000 Adults Will Soon Lose SNAP Due to Return of Work-Reporting Requirements; Another 750,000 Older Adults Newly at Risk. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Growing Food Insecurity (Axios, 4-26-23)

Eviction Crisis:

The Long-Feared Eviction Tsunami Is Here (The Nation, 4-20-23)

Related Earth Future Action Pages:

Social Disaster USA - Millions of Americans Face Starvation and Poverty

U.S. Death Toll From Poverty