Healthcare Triage: TANF, Cash Assistance, and How Work Requirements Effect Poverty Relief

In the next year and a half, we here at Healthcare Triage are going to take some deep dives into issues of health policy, especially those that touch on social determinants of health and health equity. The episodes that do so will be a bit longer than usual. They’ll look a little different. They also come to you thanks to the support of the RWJF, which has generously supported their creation. We’re excited about this opportunity to really dig in, and we hope you will be, too.

Last week we talked about different ways to promote work in safety net programs: incentives or carrots, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and disincentives or sticks like work requirements. Policy makers have tried out work requirements in a number of programs, thinking that they might lead to reduced poverty and reduced government spending. How did that go? Answering that question might inform our current policy arguments, like work requirements for Medicaid. Let’s delve into the research.


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