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.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

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.

    ...

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.