"Bureaucracy, confusing paperwork, and complex regulations--or what [the authors] call administrative burdens--often introduce delay and frustration into our experiences with government agencies. Administrative burdens diminish the effectiveness of public programs and can even block individuals from fundamental rights like voting. [The authors] document that the administrative burdens citizens regularly encounter in their interactions with the state are not simply unintended byproducts of governance, but the result of deliberate policy choices. Because burdens affect people's perceptions of government and often perpetuate long-standing inequalities, understanding why administrative burdens exist and how they can be reduced is essential for maintaining a healthy public sector. Through...case studies of federal programs and controversial legislation, the authors show that administrative burdens are the nuts-and-bolts of policy design. Regarding controversial issues such as voter enfranchisement or abortion rights, lawmakers often use administrative burdens to limit access to rights or services they oppose. For instance, legislators have implemented administrative burdens such as complicated registration requirements and strict voter-identification laws to suppress turnout of African American voters. Similarly, the right to an abortion is legally protected, but many states require women seeking abortions to comply with burdens such as mandatory waiting periods, ultrasounds, and scripted counseling. As [the authors] demonstrate, administrative burdens often disproportionately affect the disadvantaged who lack the resources to deal with the financial and psychological costs of navigating these obstacles."--
Introduction -- Understanding administrative burden -- The resurgence of burdens in voting : race, burdens, and access to political rights -- False claims and targeted burdens : the case of abortion restrictions -- The Affordable Care Act : federalism as a source of burdens -- Negotiating the Medicare maze -- Bipartisan fixes and partisan blame : cycles of burdens in SNAP -- Mending Medicaid : the politics of shifting burdens at the state level -- The earned income tax credit : benefiting business by reducing burdens on the working poor -- Social security : how the biggest bookkeeping organization in the world banished burdens -- Towards an evidence-based approach to administrative burden
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