Doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could face increases in health bills. The experts say that while the consequence may not be felt immediately, over time the poor will wind up in doctors’ offices and/or hospitals as a result of the cuts.
Among the health risks of hunger are spiked rates of diabetes and developmental problems for young children down the road.
The doctors’ lobbying effort comes as Congress is working on a compromise farm bill that’s certain to include food stamp cuts. Republicans want heftier reductions than do Democrats in yet another partisan battle over the government’s role in helping poor Americans.
The health and financial risks have not played a major role in debates about the cuts. Doctors say increases in Medicaid and Medicare cost would most likely be a result, causing Congress’ plan to cut back on funds to backfire.
Food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cost almost $80 billion a year, twice the cost of five years ago. Conservatives argue the program spiraled out of control and the cost are not sustainable.
What do you think of doctors getting involved in political matters?
Does it reflect the seriousness of Congress’ lack of ability to make decisions when it comes to budgets?
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