Thousands to Lose Aid Under Iowa Bill Backed by Lawmakers
on Wednesday. The bill would end Medicaid benefits for more than 90,000 disabled adults and children and food assistance for about 4,000 able-bodied adults without dependents.
DES MOINES (AP) - Under a bill that was approved by the legislature and sent to Governor Reynolds on Thursday, thousands of Iowans could lose their Medicaid and food stamps benefits. Kim Reynolds.
The bill was approved by the state House. It would have changed eligibility requirements, and required more checks to ensure that people qualified for benefits. This would result in an estimated 1% reduction in recipients, and save the state $8 million per year beginning in 2027. An analysis of the bill found that 1% of recipients would be removed, which equates to about 8,000 Medicaid beneficiaries and 2,800 Supplemental Nutrition Program recipients (also known as food stamp recipients).
The Senate approved the measure previously, and it passed both chambers only with Republican support. Reynolds, a Republican, is expected to sign the bill into law.
Joel Fry, Republican representative from the House of Representatives, said that the bill does not take anything away from those who are entitled to benefits.
Fry stated that if you are eligible for the benefits, you will get them. It protects the program from those who are most in need. I'd suggest that we're creating a long-term safety net that's sustainable today.
Democrats had claimed that the bill would eliminate qualified recipients and increase barriers for Iowans, who are already struggling to pay high housing and food costs. They focused on SNAP cuts and pointed out that a large percentage of recipients are disabled and children.
Beth Wessel Kroeschell, a Democratic Rep. said that the bill would remove people from SNAP because of discrepancies. Imagine children going hungry because their parents put the wrong data in the wrong column or inverted some numbers.
Democrats pointed out that a legislative study estimated that the changes could result in a $42 million loss in federal funding for Iowa by 2027.
This bill would prevent SNAP benefits from being paid to households with liquid assets or personal property exceeding $15,000 The cap would exclude the applicant's house, one car with any value, and a second vehicle worth less than $10,000.
This measure represents a departure from the current law which has income limits but does not restrict assets.
State agencies will be required to check the eligibility of people who are seeking assistance using a variety federal sources. This includes Internal Revenue Service data and Social Security numbers. The state would also conduct more frequent checks to determine if applicants are eligible and they would lose their assistance if they did not respond within 10 days to the questions they asked.
It is likely that a private company will be hired to administer new rules.
A legislative analysis revealed that, in addition to those who would lose Medicaid and SNAP, hundreds more people could be cut from the Children's Health Insurance Program (which covers children whose parents do not qualify for Medicaid) and the Family Investment Program (which provides temporary cash assistance for families).