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Farm Bill Provision Will Disrupt Iowa Medicaid and Food Stamp 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 Iowa's ability to effectively administer its Medicaid and Food Stamp programs. The measure, offered as an amendment to the House-passed Farm Bill by Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), would restrict all states from using non-profits and other private organizations in the administration of public assistance programs.

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.

"This provision will severely hamper the administration of hundreds of social services programs in the U.S., affecting 400,000 recipients of Medicaid and 225,000 recipients of Food Stamps in Iowa," said Audrey Spolarich of Spectrum Science Communications.

The Spectrum study found that states such as Iowa rely on non-government organizations to assist in the administration of many means-tested social service programs, such as the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program, benefitting 70,000 Iowans. If the farm bill passes with the Baca amendment, significant disruptions in services to low-income Iowans 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 recip
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SOURCE Spectrum Science Communications
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