A new report from researchers at the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and the University of California’s San Francisco Center on Social Disparities and Health, finds that recent cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly knows as the Food Stamp program, may end up costing the taxpayers more in the long run. Using modeling techniques, researchers estimated how program cuts would increase poverty rates and increase health care expenditures.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that cuts to the SNAP program of $1.47 billion annually would increase health care costs relating to diabetes by a similar amount. Steven Wolf, director of the VCU Center on Society and Health stated, “The costs for care of other diseases would also increase, making it an illusion to view these budget cuts as a way of saving money. Our report warns that policies that push people into poverty will affect their health outcomes and increase medical costs over the long term.”