• Call centers
• Child welfare
• County health care/indigent care
• Eligibility screening
• Emergency medical services
• Hospitals and clinics
• Juvenile services
• Medicaid/Medicare administration
• Mental health services
• Nursing homes/homecare
• Social services
• Veterans services
• Welfare programs
Many children and adults rely on government-provided health and human services. The ability of these programs to deliver services efficiently and appropriately often is a matter of life and death. Numerous state and local governmental entities are finding that turning over these programs to private contractors not only fails to achieve projected cost savings but also decreases access to these important services, hurting many vulnerable families. In many cases, the service quality declines dramatically and many sick or at-risk people are left with substandard care.
Safety net services such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have become popular targets of privatization, as the Texas and Indiana public benefits cases illustrate. Additionally, private HMOs run many state Medicaid and CHIP programs. States have privatized their foster care, child support, mental health, and workforce development services, and many more are looking into the possibility of doing so.
Recent reports of interest:
Child Welfare Privatization and Child Welfare: Can the two be efficiently reconciled?
Public Benefits Privatization and Modernization: Recent Developments and Advocacy
National Center for Law and Economic Justice, 2008
Updating and Outsourcing Enrollment in Public Benefits: The Texas Experience
Center for Public Policy Priorities, 2006
For additional reports, please see the research section on the side bar or visit our research library.