June 13, 2019
On May 6th, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a request for comments on changing how poverty is measured in the United States.
The proposed change would lower the already low income-eligibility cutoffs for federal assistance programs such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and SNAP, reducing or eliminating assistance for many individuals and families.
This means many low-income New Yorkers would no longer qualify to participate in these essential public assistance programs.
Poverty guidelines help determine eligibility for many safety-net programs and are currently adjusted each year for inflation. The Trump Administration is proposing to use a different way to calculate inflation that would result in fewer and fewer people qualifying for benefits, even though their financial situation hasn’t improved. The Trump Administration claims that this new method would be more accurate, but we know that the current method for measuring poverty already underestimates what is needed to support a family.
The impact of this proposal would be small at first, but would grow each year, affecting a wide range of federal assistance programs.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates that within 10 years of the policy’s implementation, in the U.S. more than 300,000 children would lose comprehensive coverage through Medicaid or CHIP, millions of ACA marketplace consumers would receive lower premium tax credits, and significant numbers of low-income households would lose eligibility for federal nutrition assistance programs like SNAP, WIC, and free school meals. Other essential programs like Head Start, family planning assistance, and legal services for the poor would also be impacted.
Go here to submit comments to OMB to stop this latest plan to deny assistance.