The Welfare Reform Act is better known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, this was created by former President Clinton. Clinton vowed to stop welfare, he wanted it to be someone’s right not just a privilege to receive aid. Clinton wanted to help the needy people who actually needed help, but many people were angry with the changes that it made. Clinton did not think that people’s reactions would be so negative, but they were. Medicaid did not change the way that they it provides coverage to members, but it changed how many people it covered. Clinton did not want to continue seeing his country become dependent on the assistance, he wanted to increase the employment rate. There were too many children that were living in poverty and Clinton seen a cycle that he knew he had to break. The Welfare Reform Act did not cause too many of the beneficiaries to lose their necessary coverage, they were still able to receive the coverage if they qualified. The law stated that if you were poor enough you could still receive the health insurance.
It is good because people can still work and get the health insurance if they do not make too much, because a lot of times jobs do not offer private insurance to their employees. The law did affect immigrants, the immigrants that were here illegally were no longer to receive health insurance and those that came to the United States legally had to wait five years before they could qualify for insurance if they were poor enough at the time. There were many providers that were affected in a negative way because many of them treated Medicaid patients at the time of the Welfare Reform Act. Providers like hospitals and clinics had to face the fact they would lose many patients and have more people who would try and receive free services. There were certain states that had more immigrants than others who had to choose between helping those patients and turning them away when they no longer could receive any health insurance, unless they got other help from the state (Ku, & Coughlin, 2010).
The Act did cut the percent of people who received Medicaid, like the illegal immigrants and those that no longer qualified, but if you were needy it is more than likely that you still qualified for insurance. It varies from each state; there are some states that may be able to help more than others because they have more state funds. According to ( Ku, & Coughlin, 2010), “A larger category of people, immigrants entering the United States after August 1996, will no longer be eligible for full Medicaid coverage, although they remain entitled to emergency care coverage”. Most people who qualify still could receive assistance if they were needy. The Welfare Reform Act has decreased the amount of fraud and has also increased the amount of people who are working. Many people were forced to go to job programs, to ensure that they had the necessary tools to get back on their own feet. If you wanted to receive TANF this was a requirement.
Before this act was in place there were many people out there that were taking advantage of the system, people were getting to use to the money and other assistance that was easy to get. The new law was made to put a stop to the way that things were headed to. The new generation has a better chance at succeeding in life because there is more help out there. You can still get health insurance, cash aid, and food stamps; you just have to actually be in need. The law only requires that you do what you can to be able to do it all on your own and they will help along the way. There are many people that probably wish that things were the same as they were before this law was put in place, but things are still continuing to get better.
According to research, “Some 2.9 million fewer children live in poverty today than in 1995” (Rector, & Fagan, 2003), that is a very large amount. The percent of children that were living in hunger went down and the amount of people who were having children out of wedlock has also gone down (Rector, & Fagan, 2003). The new act makes sure that the adults who are asking for the assistance go to a job program that helps you to get on your feet and be able to take care of your family without any assistance. All of these things have turned out to be more positive than negative, so it is good that our former President Clinton brought a change to America.
Ku, L., Coughlin, T. A. (2010). How the New Welfare Reform Law Affects Medicaid. Urban Institute, p.1 Retrieved October 3, 2010 from http://www.urban.org/publications/307037.html
Rector, R., & Fagan, P. Ph. D. (2003). The continuing good news about welfare reform. The Heritage Foundation, p.1. Retrieved October 3, 2010 from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2003/02/the-continuing-good-news
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