Mention child support and arguments, and anger will fill any room. Still, facts remain facts, and the one truth we must stop ignoring is that the child support arrears in America are now at a shocking $118,058,611,558.00 BILLION nationwide.
That is the latest number published by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement in its annual Preliminary Report to Congress for 2018.
Look at that number again; it is billions of dollars owed to children, reported to Congress, and not a word of outrage in the media?
2014– $114,789,695,290.00 Billion owed
2015–$115,544,338,886.00 Billion owed
2016–$116,360,701,209.00 Billion owed
2017–$117,356,312,693.00 Billion owed
2018–$118,058,611,558.00 Billion owed
I See a Trend Here, Do You?
Unpaid child support is the elephant in the room. And it’s time this elephant started trumpeting loud and clear that American children deserve better than this.
It is also clear that current laws and enforcement actions are not working, or we would not have BILLIONS in arrears, increasing by almost a billion a year. What is going on?
Why is there not a mainstream media outcry about these numbers? Why is Congress not acting?
In 2016, 20% of that total was owed back to the Federal Government for kids on SNAP or Medicaid due to unpaid child support. That is approx. 22.8 Billion dollars. The total cost of deadbeat parents has been estimated to be as high as $53 Billion a year.
The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has an interesting article asking, “Who owes the child support debt?” The graph shows that only 15% of debtors owe more than $40K in arrears, but this demographic makes up 55% of the total arrears. These are deliberate deadbeats. Where is the enforcement of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act (DPPA)?
The OCSE published another Federal Report on 11/19/18 entitled “Characteristics of Families Served by the Child Support Program.”
This report shows that:
48% of children in poverty were eligible for child support services
76% of custodial parents work full time
64% of non-custodial parents see their children
73% of IV-D households receive Medicaid benefits.
73% of IV-D households receive Medicaid??? It does not matter if you never married, do not have children, are retired, and your kids are grown and gone. If you are a taxpayer, this affects you.
What is Medicaid? Medicaid is a Federal program to provide health coverage to low-income adults, children, people with disabilities, and to provide nursing home coverage for impoverished seniors. The money to fund Medicaid comes from the Federal Government and the state you live in to support the state-run programs.
All taxpayers pay into this system whether it’s through payroll deduction or if you are self-employed and pay taxes once a year.
How It SHOULD Work
What if the 73% of IV-D cases receiving Medicaid instead got medical support as court-ordered from their parents? And why are they not?
In most divorce decree’s, medical support is assigned after the child support amount. Usually, the NCP (non-custodial parent) is required to provide the insurance along with the child support, and all non-covered expenses are ordered to be split 50/50. If you have a non-custodial parent who is not paying child support, chances are that they are not paying the medical support.
I also know of several cases involving child support enforcement where the NCP is covering the children but refuses to provide the insurance cards and information for the custodial parent to be able to use that payment source, and these parents have been forced to apply for Medicaid to cover medical expenses.
Some states consider nonpayment of medical support as “medical abuse” and automatically put kids along with the custodial parent on Medicaid; however, these states do not go after the nonpaying parent without extensive documentation and only for the previous two years of medical nonsupport.
What if the child and medical support were enforced? What if we could take 10.3 million kids off of Medicaid? What would that do to the Federal/State budget where you live?
If Medicaid became solvent, that money could go back into Medicare and Social Security! Are you facing retirement soon? Then this IS your problem!
Imagine the decreasing costs to society as parents take responsibility and provide for their children?
No matter what your gender, race, socioeconomic class, stage in life, this affects you and me; something must be done. Now!