By shrinking the poverty line over time, the Trump Administration is proposing to reduce the number of people who qualify for health care, nutrition, and other aid. This change would affect people who need Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, school meals, LIHEAP, and many other programs.

Every year, eligibility for Federal Nutrition Programs including; SNAP, School Meals, WIC and CACFP along with a long list of other important supports are determined relative to the federal poverty line. That measure is adjusted annually for inflation. The  Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is now considering changes to the ways inflation is calculated. They appear to be supportive of an inflation measure that would increase more slowly over time. If implemented, fewer people would be eligible for food assistance and many other benefit programs, because their incomes would be higher than the allowable guidelines. Over time, millions of people would lose benefits, including children, seniors, people with disabilities, and others who are poor or near poor.

The Trump White House is seeking comments by June 21st on changing the way the federal poverty line is adjusted annually for inflation. This proposal would tie the rate of inflation that’s used to adjust the poverty measure each year to one that’s lower than the one that is currently used. While the change would not be very noticeable in the short-term, over time this change could reduce or eliminate assistance for millions.

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