Welfare Reform: State and Federal Roles, PRP 59
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The political histories of recent welfare reform efforts have focused attention on the presidential-congressional conflict. The technical design literature of welfare reform has directed attention to issues of economic efficiency and to interclass distributional results of alternative schemes of income security.2 Because of the presidential-congressional impasse, initiation of policy has largely fallen to the bureaucracy at both the federal and state levels. How the states have responded, or failed to respond, to this challenge is an untold story . The research reports in this collection tell a small portion of that history. Attention is directed toward the states' actions to deal with four aspects of state welfare programs: (1) the response to the complex problem of support payments from the absent parent for the welfare-dependent single parent family; (2) the pattern of adaptation by the states to the opportunity for computerassisted administration of welfare programs; (3) the work-program options selected by the various states from the list of options made available in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (OBRA) and the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA); and (4) the state response to the opportunity to modify long-term health-care programs for medically eligible aged persons who would otherwise be receiving health care in a skilled nursing facility or intermediate- care facility. Preceding these investigations is an account of the political and economic circumstances of recent reform efforts, particularly the most recent effort at reform-- the New Federalism initiative of the Reagan Administration.