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Caring for AmericaHome Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State$
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Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195329117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329117.001.0001

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Caring for the Great Society

Caring for the Great Society

Chapter:
(p.68) 3 Caring for the Great Society
Source:
Caring for America
Author(s):

Eileen Boris

Jennifer Klein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329117.003.0003

This chapter shows that amid the aspirations of the Great Society, the expectation that non-elderly welfare recipients should seek wage work became hitched to the demands of older Americans for care. Home care became a jobs program on the cheap. Senior activists won the Older Americans Act and Medicare. But rather than a middle-class entitlement, long-term care became more tightly identified with welfare when Medicaid turned into the chief means to obtain such services. Through manpower training and “New Careers,” the War on Poverty made AFDC recipients into home aides: poor mothers could become rehabilitated by caring for other poor, dependent, or incapacitated people. But civil rights, seniors, public sector unions, and welfare rights activists challenged the state over the nature and extent of social assistance. Their struggles would reshape home care again, this time through confrontations between state governors and county welfare offices; public sector unions and government employers; welfare mothers and mayors. This history illuminates the shift in the aim of the welfare state from providing security to the ending of dependency.

Keywords:   war on poverty, great society, medicare and medicaid, Older Americans Act, public sector unions, manpower training, welfare rights, AFDC, senior citizens, AFSMCE

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