• U.S.

California: Welfare on Plastic

1 minute read

Americans put everything from lavish dinners to European holidays on credit cards, so why not let the needy use plastic to buy necessities? By next July welfare recipients in San Francisco will be able to charge everything from food purchases to doctors’ bills on a public assistance card, complete with magnetic strip and photograph. City officials predict that the new system, – which will do away with such fixtures of the welfare life as food stamps and triplicate medicaid forms, will save $6 million a year and cut layers of bureaucracy. Though several other states have used welfare credit, San Francisco will be the first to combine all aid programs under one card. Predicts Edwin Sarsfield, the city’s social services director: “I think that within three years this will be in use statewide and in the rest of the nation as well.”

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