When Wall Street Runs Welfare

Reform has brought more private companies into the welfare business, but so far their record is mixed

Here's a cautionary tale about entrusting the free market with the task of caring for the very poor. Connecticut's welfare administrators, swept up in the national tide of reform, decided last year to inject a little private enterprise into their tired bureaucracy. They awarded a $12.8 million contract to Maximus Inc., based in McLean, Va., to put a shine on a state program that pays for child care for working welfare recipients. But within months Maximus found its operations in the kind of disarray it usually takes government years to achieve. More than 10,000 of the 17,000 bills submitted by child-care...

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