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Welfare Reform Act

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The Welfare Reform Act
Paula Foreman
HCR/230
December 9, 2012
Santresa Sanders

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The Welfare Reform Act caused many existing Medicaid beneficiaries to lose necessary coverage. The delinking of Medicaid to AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) has resulted in the changes in the eligibility requirements to obtain Medicaid benefits. The old format would enable an eligible welfare applicant automatically eligible for Medicaid. Today this is not the case. TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) a new block grant has higher eligibility requirements, therefore resulting in a decrease in people who are now on Medicaid. TANF has put emphasis on diversion and job emphasis which has also steered people away from Medicaid. The economy has made job finding easier. Incomes were raised which led to some applicants and beneficiaries no longer meeting income tests or eligibility requirements for Medicaid. When these changes were made, the number of people on Medicaid decreased greatly resulting in numerous people being ineligible for Medicare or the present recipients losing Medicaid that was necessary to cover their medical expenses due to their medical issues. The changes caught many by surprise Although the Welfare Reform Law does not alter how Medicaid offers health care or it’s entitlement status, it does minimize the number of people covered, thus lowering federal expenditures. Eligible Medicaid candidates sometimes remain un-enrolled even though they are needy as a result of the Welfare Reform Act. When this law was enforced, a great number of people thought and still continue to think that this law has made them ineligible. This is due to lack of knowledge of the changes of the Welfare Reform Act. The adults who are eligible for Medicaid, but not enrolled have greater obstacles to care than their Medicaid covered counterparts. Medicaid eligible un-enrolled adults are less likely to have chronic medical conditions and are in better overall health, although un-enrolled Medicaid eligible people are not all free from health issues. The un-enrolled Medicaid adults in comparison to Medicaid enrolled adults with the same health status, family income and other characteristics are more likely to report unmet needs. This is because they lack a source of care and make less use of physical services. Families are more likely to pay the cost out of their pocket for health care services. Medicaid

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eligible adults with private health insurance do not report barriers to access more often than Medicaid covered adults. These adults are less likely to report unmet medical needs. Most do not have the knowledge, patience or time.

The Welfare Reform Act has not been effective in reducing welfare fraud and increasing personal responsibility. Some of the personal responsibilities have been mandatory and people have to stay in compliance in order to stay in certain government programs. Others have tried and failed or just simply decided not to pursue their personal responsibilities. Again this is a general area where people feel as though they do not have the time, or they may lack the education, and have no enthusiasm of doing anything to better them. Some just needed to be put on the right track and excel well. The Welfare Reform Act has had a great impact on the increase of welfare fraud. It is said that the Welfare Reform Act has been successful, based on the number of people on the welfare rolls. Welfare fraud is the act of recipients receiving benefits for which they are not eligible. People are receiving food, cash and medical benefits illegally. They are withholding information or failing to report incomes, failing to be truthful about the size of their household among other things. Welfare fraud has increased since the Welfare Reform Act. Many were and still continue to be affected by the conditions of this Act. It has created many hardships for people who were already considered poverty stricken. Increased criminalization of low income women who have difficulty supporting their families has increased. People are finding it hard to stay in compliance with the Welfare Reform Act and survive.

The Welfare Reform Act has been successful in some areas. They have met a lot of their intended goals.

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The Welfare Reform Act has caused welfare to be down, as many of the AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) are working as it is a requirement of them to find employment, now under the TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families). The poverty rate, food stamp, teen birth rate, is all down from the percentage when the AFDC program was connected to Medicaid. There are more job programs, child support is up and people are more self- supporting. The financial conditions of the state and local government have improved. There are incentives such as EIC (Earned Income Credit) that pay more than welfare. This is an incentive to want to work. In conclusion, the Welfare Reform Act has many positive and negative implications as with most things we deal with in life.

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How the new welfare reform law affects medicaid. (). Retrieved from http://www.urban.org
Welfare reform act of 1996 and medicaid. (). Retrieved from http://www.usgovernmentbenefits.org
Welfare reform act of 1996. (). Retrieved from http://infousa.state.gov

Paula Foreman paulahall@email.phoenix.edu EST.…...

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