Chapter

Communicating Grievances—Policy Feedback and the Deserving Citizen

Sandra R. Levitsky

in Caring for Our Own

Published in print May 2014 | ISBN: 9780199993123
Published online June 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199378906 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993123.003.0005
Communicating Grievances—Policy Feedback and the Deserving Citizen

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This chapter considers the role of entitlement or “deservingness” in politicization. For constituents to participate in political demand making they must first believe they are entitled to something better. Theories of policy feedback predict that the experience of seeking assistance for long-term care from Medicaid (a stigmatized “welfare” program and the only source of state assistance for long-term care) may actually diminish caregivers’ sense of themselves as deserving citizens and thus impede organized demand making. This chapter suggests another possibility: Rather than viewing themselves as inferior or stigmatized for seeking assistance from a “welfare” program, most non-poor Medicaid applicants extend the lessons learned from “top tier” social insurance programs like Social Security to the context of contemporary long-term care. Thus instead of being diminished by their experiences with Medicaid, non-poor caregivers in this study recast Medicaid as a middle-class entitlement owed by the state to “deserving” citizens like themselves.

Keywords: Medicaid; Social Security; social insurance; stigma; entitlement; deserving; caregivers; politicization; policy feedback

Chapter.  10507 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing ; Social Movements and Social Change

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