Indiana Welfare Modernization – What are the Real Results?


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Indiana’s new hybrid system for welfare eligibilty is now being touted as a success.  But before we move on and say “phew” there are a couple things we should know.  How do we know things are working well?

Vaneta Becker (State Senator in Indiana) claims that she has received less complaints, but is this the measure of success?  In December, FSSA Secretary Anne Murphy claimed that 30% more people had been hired to deal with the mess caused by the modernization effort. 

Are we processing more with less or just throwing money at the problem to make it go away?  The cost conscious administration probably knows the answer to the cost question and whether or not more money is being spent on vendors.  A bit of transparency is in order.

What about the other measures that are derived from customer purpose (or in this case what matters to welfare recipients).  Is there less failure demand (demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for a customer)?  What is the end-to-end time of receiving approval – before and after the hybrid system?  Have the standards for eligibilty changed?

It is premature to call fewer complaints the result of an efficient and effective system.   The characteristics of such a system remain unanswered.  Instead we have received assurances and anecdotal evidence that is fuzzy and unsubstantiated.

With government spending wildly and putting future generations at risk with increased spend to cover political shortcomings . . . these are answers we deserve to know.

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