Overview of Welfare
The welfare system encompasses all "means-tested" programs. The amount spent on welfare has significantly increased over several decades. Much of the increase is the result of the expansion of the Medicaid program. A major part of the Affordable Care Act involved expanding the groups eligible to such benefits.
The welfare reform measures of the 1990's has signficantly reduced the number of child recipients under the TANF program.
The amount of TANF benefits is far less than the poverty level in most states.