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SPECIALIZED LITIGATION AND SUPPORT CENTERS Center for Law and Education *International Human Rights Law Group

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The Clearinghouse encourages submission of articles from legal services field staff and others. Manuscripts should be typewritten, double-spaced, with the footnotes double-spaced at the end of the article. Articles intended for the Management of Legal Services section should be sent to the Management Department Editor, National Clearinghouse for Legal Services, Inc., 407 South Dearborn, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60605.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as representing the opinions or policy of the organizations by which they are employed or the National Clearinghouse for Legal Services, Inc. Annual Subscription price: free to attorneys and paralegals practicing in LSC-funded programs; $95 for subscriptions outside the Continental United States; $75 to all others. Back issues are available at a cost of $6.00 per copy. Copyright © 1987 by National Clearinghouse for Legal Services, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN 0009-868X

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Toward Reform of the Welfare System: Is Consensus Emerging?,

by Paula Roberts and Rhoda Schulzinger

In the last year, politicians, policymakers, and academics representing different disciplines and

political viewpoints, alarmed at the increase in poverty, have begun to suggest ways to reform

the social welfare system; this article provides a beginning framework for analysis of welfare

reform and reviews the major proposals now being circulated.

Medicaid Transplant Litigation Proliferates, National Health Law Program

In the past six months, there has been a substantial increase in Medicaid organ transplant

litigation, and advocates have been increasingly successful in their courtroom efforts.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Some Issues for State Long-Term Care Policy,

National Senior Citizens Law Center ........

The development of continuing care retirement communities—facilities that promise housing,

meals, and some form of health service in return for an entrance fee and payment of monthly

charges raises consumer protection and residents' rights issues, as well as Medicaid-related

issues, in several states.

Cost Containment in the Legal Services Environment, by Nina Coil.....

This month's Management Column discusses various cost-containment mechanisms legal

services programs may choose when forced to make cutbacks, and their likely effects on staff

and the program budget.

Computer and Research News

The usual search results are this month's topic.

Federal Register Highlights .

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Sweeping Changes in Immigration Laws Affect Aliens' Rights to Work and Legalize
Their Status, by Susan Drake, Beth Zacovic, Charles Wheeler, and Tina Poplawski ......

Beginning in May 1987, an estimated 2.2 million aliens who have lived in the United States
since before 1982 will be eligible for the first time to legalize their status; this article provides
an overview of the major provisions on legalization and employer sanctions in the new

immigration reform bill.

Job Market.......


Toward Reform of the Welfare System: Is Consensus Emerging?

by Paula Roberts and Rhoda Schulzinger

1. Introduction

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When people refer to the “welfare system,” they usually mean programs designed to help poor families with children. These generally include Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), food stamps, Medicaid, and, for some, the supplemental security income (SSI) program. Currently, many very poor families are ineligible for AFDC and Medicaid. In fact, in 1984, barely half of the poor children in America received AFDC.' Even if a family is lucky enough to qualify for AFDC, benefits are meager. For example, in January 1986, a family of four in Alabama could receive a maximum grant of $147 per month; a similar family in Maryland could receive no more than $395 each month.? Even with the addition of food stamps, few families receive a combination of benefits sufficient to move them out of poverty. Moreover, the purchasing power of benefits has declined: in the typical state, benefits are now 33 percent lower than in 1970, after adjustment for inflation.

As a result, despite what are perceived to be large federal expenditures, poverty is widespread in America. For some groups, it is unconscionable. For example, in 1984, children who lived in single-parent, female-headed families had a poverty rate of 54 percent.* Children living in black families

had an overall poverty rate of over 46 percent, and those living in Hispanic families experienced a poverty rate of almost 39 percent."

Public opinion polls show that most Americans would like to see the federal government eradicate this poverty. Yet, while there is consensus on this goal, there is deep division on how to attain it. In the past, this division has prevented the achievement of welfare reform. In the last year, however, politicians, policymakers, and academics representing different disciplines and political viewpoints, alarmed at the increase in poverty, have begun to suggest ways to reform the social welfare system. Some of these ideas may actually be implemented. If they are, low-income people will be profoundly affected. For this reason, advocates need to be aware of the proposed changes and what they could mean.

This article is intended to provide a beginning framework for analysis. It starts with a brief overview of the economic realities, philosophical perspectives, and social experiments that have combined to re-ignite interest in welfare reform. Next, it reviews the major proposals now being circulated. Then, it examines the political climate for indications of the possibility that reform can be achieved in the near future. Finally, it contains a bibliography of materials with which advocates may wish to become familiar. Those seriously interested in welfare reform can use this as a starting point for their own work. The authors have also prepared a chart outlining the major proposals, which is available from the Center for Law and Social Policy.

Despite what are perceived to be large federal expenditures, poverty is widespread in America.

II. The Basics of the Debate

A. Economic Issues

Paula Roberts and Rhoda Schulzinger are attorneys at the Center for Law and Social Policy, 1616 P St., NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 328-5140. Funds for this research paper were provided by the Max and Anna Levinson, Ford, and Charles H. Revson Foundations. The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

Any meaningful discussion of welfare reform must start with a consideration of America's current economic status. On the bright side, taxes, inflation, and interest rates are down. Per capita income and the number of new jobs in the economy are



99th Cong., 2d Sess. 27 (1986). 2. Id. at 44. 3. Congressional Research Services, unpublished data. 4. CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND, A CHILDREN'S DEFENSE BUDGET

338 (1986).

5. Id.
6. Lewis & Schreider, Hard Times: The Public on Poverty, PUB.

OPINION, ne/J 1985.

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