WELFARE: CLINTON ADMINISTRATION CRITICIZES REFORMS
Vice President Al Gore said yesterday that GOP-proposedThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
welfare legislation moving through Congress has "some real
shortcomings," however, he "carefully avoided predicting that it
faced a presidential veto." Appearing on CBS's "Face the
Nation," Gore said that President Clinton is concerned about
language in the bill that cuts food stamp programs and
nonmonetary vouchers for children and prohibits legal immigrants
from receiving benefits (Baltimore SUN, 7/22). The Senate
rejected two Democratic amendments Friday that would have
retained Medicaid coverage for current welfare populations and
would have dropped the option of allowing states to receive food
stamp funds as a block grant. The Senate is expected to vote on
the full measure tomorrow (Wetzstein, WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/20).
THE DEBATE: AP/Baltimore SUN reports that Clinton, "who
took office promising radical reform of the welfare system," has
vetoed two previous GOP welfare reform measures. However, White
House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said that the welfare reform
legislation in Congress "is unacceptable" (7/21). In addition to
denying legal immigrants access to Medicaid, the GOP-sponsored
legislation would also cut off their food stamp privileges and
Supplemental Security Income benefits. The bill would also allow
state to deny other benefits to illegal immigrants until they
become citizens (Havemann/Vobejda/Balz, WASHINGTON POST, 7/20).
GREAT COST: Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) said that the GOP
legislation "would impose immense new costs" on Florida,
California, New York, Texas, Illinois, and other states with
large numbers of immigrants. He said that public hospitals would
be required to treat legal immigrants but would not receive any
reimbursement "because such immigrants would be ineligible for
Medicaid and cannot afford private health insurance" (Pear, NEW
YORK TIMES, 7/20).