March 8, 2017

Trump-Endorsed Health Plan Would Increase Hunger

Photo by Rick Reinhard for Bread for the World

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World warned that the new Republican health plan would increase hunger and food insecurity in the United States. President Trump has endorsed the plan, and it is moving toward a vote in the House of Representatives.    

“The health plan that President Trump has endorsed would take hundreds of billions of dollars away from low-income Americans,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “It would certainly increase hunger among American children.”

The proposed American Health Care Act would cap funding for Medicaid, so families in poverty would receive less help with the costs of health care. It would also phase out the expansion of Medicaid that was part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This would take insurance away from 11 million people just above the poverty line.

In addition, the proposed health care replacement bill would reduce subsidies that have made it possible for millions of middle-class families to purchase health insurance.    

“If working families do not have health insurance, they often have to scrimp on food for their children if someone in the family gets really sick,” said Beckmann. “Maintaining the health insurance coverage that the Affordable Care Act has achieved would help to maintain recent gains against hunger and poverty.” 

The expansion of health care coverage under the ACA has contributed to declines in U.S. hunger and poverty over the last few years. Before the ACA, 1 in 3 people with chronic medical conditions had to choose between receiving medical treatment and purchasing food for their family.

According to an updated analysis released by Harvard University economist David Cutler and his co-authors, people with incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty line would see their costs increase by $2,945 this year. By 2020, their health care costs would increase by $4,061.

Widespread hunger is a significant cause of disease and high health care costs. Bread for the World’s 2016 hunger report, The Nourishing Effect, estimates the cost of hunger and food insecurity to our healthcare system at $160 billion per year.

“Hunger and poverty make people sick, and a powerful way to address rising health care costs in our country would be to reduce hunger,” added Beckmann.      

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • The U.S. Contribution to Ending Global Malnutrition

    We have a new opportunity in 2017 to speed up global progress against malnutrition among pregnant women and young children. Worldwide, maternal and child malnutrition causes millions of deaths each year. In some countries, it holds entire generations back from reaching their economic potential....

  • Fact Sheet: Nutrition During Famine

    Famine means that 20 percent or more of the households in an area have “an extreme lack of food and other basic needs where starvation, death, and destitution are evident.”

    Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, while other areas of South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and...

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • The State of Black Poverty: A Pan-African Millennial Perspective on Ending Hunger by 2030

    Over the past year and a half, about two-dozen young adults from the United States and countries in Africa and the Caribbean, have gathered virtually and in person to reflect on the effects of hunger and poverty in black communities. The working group has been considering socio-political and...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...