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Farm Bill Provision Will Disrupt MaineCare Program
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 Maine's ability to effectively administer its MaineCare program. 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 310,000 recipients of MaineCare," said Audrey Spolarich of Spectrum Science Communications.

The Spectrum study found that states such as Maine rely on non-government organizations to assist in the administration of many means-tested social service programs. In Maine, a commercial firm provides Web administration for the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program to over 25,000 Maine residents. A private contractor works with the state of Maine to process and deliver benefits associated with it's ASPIRE (Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment) program, which provides assistance and work opportunities to an average of nearly 27,000 Mainers each month.

"As someone who has had to administer these pro
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SOURCE Spectrum Science Communications
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