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Jeb! Bush unveils plan to make millions of Americans hungry and sick

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By Laura Clawson

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The guy who has branded himself as the wonkish, "serious" Republican presidential candidate has unveiled a plan to make millions of Americans go hungry. That would be Jeb! Bush, of course, and:

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"He would eliminate the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps, housing assistance programs and a cash program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

"He would use the money to give so-called 'right to rise' grants to the states to let state governments fund programs they develop as the best way to address poverty."

Oh, the states. Like Missouri, where Republicans wanted to ban food stamp recipients from buying all forms of seafood, including canned tuna? Or Wisconsin, where Republicans were okay with the poors getting light tuna but not white tuna? Or the slew of states that have passed unconstitutional drug testing requirements or worked hard to get around that pesky Constitution and find a constitutional drug testing policy -- even as state after state finds seriously low levels of drug use?

Bush's plan is premised on the claim that these programs don't work. Even though we have study after study showing that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for instance, leads to better health and education outcomes for the children who benefit, and reduces healthcare costs for things like diabetes. And when benefits run short at the end of the month, food stamp recipients are more likely to go to the hospital with hypoglycemia, because as it turns out, SNAP works well until people run out of benefits, which they usually do. We also know from experience that instituting block grants leads to decreased funding over time.

And this is the wonkish, supposedly non-extreme side of Republican policy. Making people hungry, sick, and homeless.


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