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Income Support: Caseload Reduction Brings New Challenges

October 29, 2001

Since creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in 1996 (and even before then in some states) states have greatly restructured their welfare programs to move families from welfare to work. The entitlement to cash assistance, in effect for more than 60 years, has been eliminated. Instead, states and counties have received broad flexibility under TANF to help low-income families with children move to self-sufficiency. These policy choices, as highlighted here, will significantly affect society's ability to address the needs of low-income families.

Health Care Coverage: Uninsurance -- The Unintended Consequence

October 4, 2001

One of welfare reform's unintended consequences has been a reduction of health care coverage among poor Americans. The welfare law severed the link between cash assistance and Medicaid. In turn, Congress provided states with several options to continue to offer Medicaid to those leaving welfare and to expand health coverage to more low-income families. Nonetheless, many low-income people lost health care coverage as they moved from welfare to work. This paper provides a statistical portrait of changes in health insurance coverage, and the policy measures that states have taken to fix the problem.