Monday, November 11, 2013

How ObamaCare Increases Food Stamp Rolls

The Obama administration has ordered a study to determine whether the Affordable Care Act, by increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, will also increase the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program based on how states enroll people.

“So in percentage terms, it’s not going to be very large, but we’re talking about a very large program,” said Mills, who is investigating the effects of the health care law on SNAP on behalf of the Department of Agriculture’s Food Nutrition Service, the agency that monitors food stamps.The outcome of the study could show an increase of 3 percent to 5 percent in food stamp recipients in some states from people who were already eligible for SNAP benefits but had not enrolled in the program — which could translate to millions or even billions more in federal spending, Greg Mills, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who is conducting the study, told POLITICO.

“It would have a substantial financial effect.”

The likely increase would come from a greater overlap in eligibility between Medicaid under Obamacare and SNAP.

Nearly all uninsured people now covered by the Medicaid expansion are also eligible for food stamps, but they are not all enrolled. Depending on how states put residents in these programs — many have integrated the process for SNAP and Medicaid — eligible food stamp recipients could be more easily targeted and encouraged to apply.