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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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Welfare Wars, Seventies Style

Welfare Wars, Seventies Style

(p.94) 4 Welfare Wars, Seventies Style
Caring for America

Eileen Boris

Jennifer Klein

Oxford University Press

This chapter charts the emergence of the predominant forms of home care delivery that unions would have to confront for the rest of the century. The welfare wars that rocked the late 1960s and early 1970s generated not only California’s independent provider system but also solidified the vendor model in New York City, both of which allowed governments to transfer employer responsibility by contracting out the work. The presence of a well-organized and vocal independent living movement distinguished the fight in California during Ronald Reagan’s governorship, resulting in the consumer-directed In-Home Supportive Services. But because individuals could hire family members, IHSS served as a form of income support during a period when new federal welfare rules ideologically and administratively separated AFDC from disability and elder assistance. In contrast, New York moved to contract out and privatize services, funding old community development programs through Medicaid monies, in response to both public employee strikes and the militancy of poor women of color who dominated its Home Attendant Program. At each level of government, neoliberalism and privatization emerged as a continually evolving political tactic, part of the politics of welfare, Medicaid, and elder care.

Keywords:   Independent Living Movement, privatization, Governor Ronald Reagan, In-Home Supportive Services, New York Fiscal Crisis, independent contractor, home attendants, welfare, disability rights, neoliberalism

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