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Cutting Food Stamps Will Cause More Health Bills

From a tear soaked Associated Press:

Doctors say cutting food stamps could backfire

By LAURAN NEERGAARD and MARY CLARE JALONICK | January 10, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills. Maybe not immediately, they say, but over time if the poor wind up in doctors’ offices or hospitals as a result.

What cuts? There aren’t any food stamp cuts in the farm bill. The bill just cuts heating assistance for people who don’t pay for their own heating. (And even then the states have to fill the gap.)

Among the health risks of hunger are spiked rates of diabetes and developmental problems for young children down the road.

Because there are no programs to help children. There is no WIC, no enfant formula program, no CHIP. No free school lunches, or breakfasts or dinners. In the US kids are just left to starve to death on the streets.

The doctors’ lobbying effort comes as Congress is working on a compromise farm bill that’s certain to include food stamp cuts. Republicans want heftier reductions than do Democrats in yet another partisan battle over the government’s role in helping poor Americans.

Again, these aren’t any cuts to food stamps. But that won’t stop the AP from wringing their hands.

The health and financial risks of hunger have not played a major role in the debate. But the medical community says cutting food aid could backfire through higher Medicaid and Medicare costs.

"If you’re interested in saving health care costs, the dumbest thing you can do is cut nutrition," said Dr. Deborah Frank of Boston Medical Center, who founded the Children’s HealthWatch pediatric research institute…

Last year, research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that a cut of $2 billion a year in food stamps could trigger in an increase of $15 billion in medical costs for diabetes over the next decade.

Other research shows children from food-insecure families are 30 percent more likely to have been hospitalized for a range of illnesses…

The final bill will most likely crack down on states that give recipients $1 in heating assistance in order to trigger higher food stamp benefits, a change that wouldn’t take people completely off the rolls…

The above minor detail is buried in the twentieth paragraph of this article.

Again, the only cut is in the heating assistance some people who don’t pay for their heat were given to make them eligible for food stamps. (And they will still be eligible for food stamps.) The AP buries this minor detail in the twentieth paragraph of their article.

But none of this will stop the AP from wringing their hands how these cuts are going to harm children. Apparently, there are no programs to help children. There is no WIC, no enfant formula program, no CHIP. There are no free school lunches, or breakfasts or dinners. In the US kids are just left to starve to death on the streets.

Democrats and anti-hunger groups opposing the reductions have said that cutting food stamps could worsen health and raise health costs for the poorest.

"Food is medicine," says Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, who has led the Democrats’ defense of the food stamp program. "Critics focus almost exclusively on how much we spend, and I wish they understood that if we did this better, we could save a lot more money in health care costs."

Dr. Thomas McInerny, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said too often, poor families buy cheap, high-calorie junk food because it’s filling, but it lacks nutrients needed for proper child development. The two main consequences are later-in-life diabetes, and iron deficiency that, especially in the first three years of life, can damage a developing brain so that children have trouble learning in school, he said.

"The children may not look malnourished the way children in Third World countries look," he said, "but they are malnourished." …

How come we never hear about the impact of ever increasing taxes on the children of taxpayers? Don’t they ever suffer?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, January 10th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Cutting Food Stamps Will Cause More Health Bills”

  1. But what about the trees?

  2. BannedbytheTaliban

    “Among the health risks of hunger are spiked rates of diabetes”

    What a load. Look at all those skinny people running around with type 2 diabetes. These people should be in jail.

  3. AcornsRNutz

    Hey Doctor McInerny: Last time I was in a gas station I saw a nice display showing 24 ounce cans of Monster energy drink and 3 pound oversized Hershey bars costing 15 bucks a piece. Guess what the big sign above these items (in huge block letters on neon pink paper)? “NOW EBT ELIGIBLE!!!!!!!”

    If we cut a progream that buys pounds of chocolate and energy drinks by 80 percent instead of .8, it won’t be enough. If I ever meet a healthy adult male who can’t feed his children I’ll tell him this exactly: F— You, my money feeds my kids.

  4. Petronius

    Let’s try an experiment.

    Let’s modify this article to insert “cuts veterans’ pensions” or “military pension cuts” or “cutting veterans’ pensions” in lieu of “cuts food stamps” or “food stamp cuts” or “cutting food stamps” wherever those phrases appear throughout.

    Next change “children” to “our disabled veterans” wherever it appears.

    Would the AP have run that article? Fat chance.

    And when will the Democrats run a TV ad showing Paul Ryan wheeling a disabled veteran over a cliff?

  5. canary

    A cart full of soda pop and cookies is real healthy.


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