Newspeak: Pennsylvania Lawmakers Working To Rename Welfare Department To Reduce Stigma


Lawmakers in Pennsylvania are working to reform welfare in the State, albeit, probably not in the way you might expect.  House lawmakers in the State approved a bill Monday that would change the name of Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services in a bid to eliminate the stigma associated with being on the dole.

Pennsylvania lawmakers in support of the name change argue that the State is one of the very last to have a social safety net department including the word “welfare” in its name. The legislative initiative is also supported by nonprofit organizations in the State.

A Department of Human Services “will have a broader definition than simply welfare. It will represent services like children being adopted, preventing child abuse, helping frail seniors, providing independent living for people with disabilities and other important services,” said Bob Nelkin, president of the United Way of Allegheny County.

But a few conservative lawmakers in the State have expressed opposition to the name change.

“Why in the world would we want to rename the Department of Public Welfare?” said Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Cranberry) speaking prior to the House vote. “I think there should be a stigmatism for being on welfare. … You should not be satisfied with living off the fruit of your neighbor’s labor.”

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • Eagle525

    We should be so proud of the Pennsylvania Lawmakers leading the way to remove the stigma associated with welfare. Well here is a news flash… I have never seen a welfare recipient be ashamed of claiming what they think they deserve. Congratulations Pennsylvania Lawmakers, you have just come up with the best solution for a non existent problem.

  • Lew

    The Dept.Of Freedom to Live Free from want and work.

  • an old seabee

    If you are legitimate there is no stigma, if you’re just lazy and want to get your ass SHOULD be STIGMATIZED!

  • rivahmitch

    Of course, it’s quite understandable that the scum in the legislature want to call those who vote, rather than work, for a living , something soft and fuzzy. God forbid that parasites should be stigmatized.

  • ChuckS123

    I definitely think there should be a stigma. We should discourage taking it. If you really need it, it shouldn’t be much of a stigma to you. If you really need it, you should be willing to explain why. If people know you really need it, they’ll hopefully understand.

  • Traditionist

    Who cares, it is a handout with few limitations.

  • michael lawless

    a hand out is a hand out no matter what you call it
    lets call it the sponge center

  • Motov

    Why don’t they make these able bodied people work for welfare?
    Like cleaning up the ghetto they live in?, Oh That’s right, we don’t want them to start thinking about getting real jobs, then independent, might lose their 15 votes per person.