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+ - Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs 4

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Lauran Neergaard writes at the Christian Science Monitor that doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills because over time the poor wind up seeking treatment in doctors' offices or hospitals as a result. "If you're interested in saving health care costs, the dumbest thing you can do is cut nutrition," says Dr. Deborah Frank of Boston Medical Center, who founded the Children's HealthWatch pediatric research institute. "People don't make the hunger-health connection." Food stamps feed 1 in 7 Americans and cost almost $80 billion a year, twice what it cost five years ago. 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. Conservatives say the program spiraled out of control as the economy struggled and the costs are not sustainable. However research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that a cut of $2 billion a year in food stamps could trigger in an increase of $15 billion in medical costs (PDF) for over the next decade. Other research shows children from food-insecure families are 30 percent more likely to have been hospitalized for a range of illnesses. "Food is medicine," says Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern, who has led the Democrats' defense of the food stamp program. "Critics focus almost exclusively on how much we spend, and I wish they understood that if we did this better, we could save a lot more money in health care costs.""
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Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

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  • Once the government is responsible for citizenry's healthcare, there is no end... Surely, not just nutrition is required for well-being, but also shelter, right? Ergo, the government ought to provide housing — not as charity even, but out of "pragmatism".

    Then, of course, comes entertainment — boredom leads to mental health problems so the same pragmatism rules, entertainment ought to be provided too — free or (heavily) subsidized.

    With healthcare, education, shelter, and food provided by

    • by tepples (727027)
      One way to subsidize entertainment would be to cut the copyright term, allowing pre-1986 works of authorship to enter the public domain the way the first Congress intended.
  • Force them to schooling, work, exercise or read a book.

    No cell phone calls except for job hunting and emergencies.
    No internet access except for job hunting and education.

    Free food should be regarded as temporary.

    • I'm interested in your proposal, but I see a few loopholes big enough to drive a puddle jumper [wikia.com] through. How do you prove a particular case of Internet use isn't part of education? And how do you prove a particular case of telephone use isn't part of the social networking needed to establish the "it's who you know" that leads to jobs?

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