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Privatization of welfare reflects the political pressure to limit public responsibility for protection of social citizenship. Recent welfare reforms incorporate three classic market-like privatization mechanisms--contracting out services forcing allocation of a limited pool of benefits, and deregulation. Deregulation entails strategic diversion and disqualification of large numbers of would-be applicants who are left without alternatives to the labor market. In this article I discuss an empirical study of the effects of deregulation of welfare on the self-perceptions of recipients. Interviews with recipients and with low-wage health care workers, former recipients, show that, criticisms of welfare notwithstanding, they have embraced welfare reforms valorization of market labor; despite the women's continuing poverty. The interviews suggest that the "consent" of women in low-wage health care work is grounded in both powerlessness and resistance. Care taking, a role devalued by welfare reform, is valued by them and a foundation for identity and an imagined career