BY KIM BELLARD
As many of you did, I followed the recent debt ceiling saga closely, and am relieved that we now have a compromise, of sorts. The House Republicans demanded a lot of things, most of which they did not get, but one area where they did prevail was in toughening work requirements for food (SNAP) and income (TANF). They somehow believe that there are uncounted numbers of “able-bodied” people sitting around on their couches collecting government benefits, a myth that goes back to Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen stereotype, and have long advocated work requirements as the remedy.
Ironically, according to the CBO, the work requirements passed may actually increase federal spending by as much as $2b, and increase the number of monthly recipients by as many as 80,000 people, but who’s counting?
All this seems timely because of some new studies that illustrate – once again — that, yes, poverty is bad for people’s health, and helping them get even a little bit more out of poverty improves their health.Continue reading…