Just Don't Get Sick: Access to Health Care in the Aftermath of Welfare Reform / Edition 1

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Overview


The ability to obtain health care is fundamental to the security, stability, and well-being of poor families. Government-sponsored programs provide temporary support, but as families leave welfare for work, they find themselves without access to coverage or care. The low-wage jobs that individuals in transition are typically able to secure provide few benefits yet often disqualify employees from receiving federal aid.

Drawing upon statistical data and in-depth interviews with over five hundred families in Oregon, Karen Seccombe and Kim Hoffman assess the ways in which welfare reform affects the well-being of adults and children who leave the program for work. We hear of asthmatic children whose uninsured but working mothers cannot obtain the preventive medicines to keep them well, and stories of pregnant women receiving little or no prenatal care who end up in emergency rooms with life-threatening conditions.

Representative of poor communities nationwide, the vivid stories recounted here illuminate the critical relationship between health insurance coverage and the ability to transition from welfare to work.

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Editorial Reviews

Executive Director, Trust for America's Health - Jeffery Levi

Any consideration of health reform should start with this cautionary tale.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2010

    Tough Read

    In 1996, President William Jefferson Clinton signed the landmark Welfare Reform Act, and a decade later in 2007, the debate on it's benefits, or lack thereof, as the authors so vividly point out throughout the book, continues in Karen Seccomb's and Kim Hoffman's published monograph, Just Don't Get Sick. Seccomb's book is not perchance a book to pick up for a nonchalant afternoon reading with your cup of chamomile tea and lightly frosted shortbread cookie. It is not a book for the light of heart, as the facts and opinions strung through its pages are profound and complex. Neither is it for the one who yearns an escape from the daily grind of everyday life, for this book will quickly bring one back into the severe and harsh reality of a life, the worse side of existence, of poverty, hopelessness, and destitution. But for the select few valiant and courageous men and women who dare to embark in this uncomfortable journey of enlightenment, and intellectual and moral quest, I bid you, "Read on."

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