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HB186 – Is this a good or a bad SNAP bill?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as “the food stamp program,” assists eligible low-income individuals with the purchase of food.  The Republicans have introduced a bill, known as the Delaware Nutritional Improvement Act, seeks to bring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in line with other state programs and initiatives aimed at improving the health and welfare of Delawareans. This Act seeks to require SNAP benefits to be used solely for the purchase of healthy foods identified by the Department of Health and Social Services as having beneficial nutritional value. This will not only improve the efficiency of such expenditures but it should also improve the well-being of recipients, as well as potentially reduce health care expenditures.

This all sounds unharmful.    But look below.  This is sponsored by all Republicans.   Now, in the fever swamps of Republican and conservative media, it is imagined that SNAP beneficiaries use the money they get from this program to buy luxury food items.   This fiction was always a basis for Republicans to cut the program or reduce its benefits.

And now I am to believe Republicans are all into requiring people to eat healthy food? They went ballistic at Michele Obama’s healthy school lunch initiative, decrying the nanny state.    So now I am to believe that Republicans are on aboard with making sure SNAP recipients are eating healthy.

Yeah, my distrust of Republicans is strong.

This bill would instruct the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to draft a list of approved foods, using the WIC program (Women, Infant, Children) guidelines as a starting point, though it would have “the goal of expanding on the WIC designations to improve selection and increase affordability.”  Under this Act, future SNAP benefits could be used only to purchase items designated as having beneficial nutritional value.

DATE UPDATED: 6/9/2017
SPONSORS: Hensley, Pettyjohn, Dukes, Hudson, D.Short, Wilson, Bonini, Lavelle, Richardson, Simpson, Briggs King, Spiegelman
HISTORY – House Health & Human Development 5/17/17
STATUS – Waiting on a hearing in committee.
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6 comments on “HB186 – Is this a good or a bad SNAP bill?

  1. I don’t understand the intent of this bill. I read the language and am thinking “How is this different than current language surrounding SNAP?” So, this leads me to believe it’s some GOP shadiness going on here. We need lots more info.

  2. This is probably part of the “I saw a person buy lobster with their food stamps” BS. More legislating the choices that the poor can make.

    • YOU can’t buy Prepared food with SNAP–Lobster is purchased cooked!

  3. I agree with LG, without additional detail this sounds like more of the same from the GOP. The poor can only use what WE say they can use, and we’ll just leave it as vague as possible so we have plenty of wiggle room.

    I’m sure the angle they’re using is “we want those on state & federal assistance to be healthy, so we’ll let the government decide what they can buy and eat” and leave it to the businesses to regulate it for them. Party of small government, amirite?

  4. xstryker

    If the restriction impacts a business, they call it “an unfunded mandate.” If it impacts poor people, they call it “personal responsibility.” Unless they’re planning on increasing the amount of assistance, this is a effectively a benefit cut because healthy food costs more.

  5. Ok so as a person who is disabled and on a fixed income (SSDI) I have been on SNAP and I will say this–as a dialysis patient, what IS healthy for most people, is NOT healthy for me. I must avoid Potassium (bananas, avocados…MILk products…foods high in Phosphorus, packaged foods breads legumes nuts corn….dairy and I Have to have a a high protien diet as I have to keep albumin levels high as the dialysis washes out excess protein, MY point what is deemed healthy for many is not healthy for me!

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