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Farm Bill Provision Will Disrupt Food Stamp and Medicaid Programs
Date:2/29/2008

Over 40 million Needy Children and Adults to be Affected Nationwide, Study

Expects

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A survey released today by Spectrum Science Communications states that a little known anti-privatization measure in the current farm bill would critically harm states' abilities to effectively administer food stamps to low-income Americans. The measure, offered as an amendment to the House-passed Farm Bill by Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), would restrict states from using non-profits and other private organizations in the administration of food stamps.

Over 40 million needy children and adults would be affected by the disruptions in service that would occur if the federal government takes away states' ability to partner with private firms and non-profit groups. Among those who would be affected are over 14 million enrollees in the Medicaid and The State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), 26 million food stamp recipients, and 1.9 million participants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

The Spectrum study found that states rely on non-government organizations to assist in the administration of many means-tested social service programs, including food stamps. If the farm bill passes with the Baca amendment, significant disruptions in services to low-income Americans will occur in the immediate future. Over time, the recent modernization of the administration process would be reversed, ultimately resulting in higher costs.

"As someone who has had to administer these programs to recipients, I can tell you first-hand how adversely impacted state governments will be if this provision passes," said former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges. "In South Carolina and other states, important services like Medicaid and Child Support Enforcement depend on commercial and non-profit support. We can't let Washington play politics with the administration of thes
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SOURCE Spectrum Science Communications
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