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Biden administration is approving requests for Medicaid to cover food costs

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The Biden administration is approving states’ requests for Medicaid to start covering food costs. The move is part of an ideology that if insurance covers costs for fruits, vegetables and dietary plans, then people will become more healthy. As a result, that will reduce the number of medical visits. The “produce prescription” is now covered under Medicaid’s insurance plan.

President Biden is vouching for government-paid insurance plans to cover the costs for healthy foods at the grocery store. A handful of states submitted requests for Medicaid to foot the bill for food as it would for medicine. In Arkansas, Oregon and Massachusetts, the government is already paying for low-income families’ fruits and vegetables.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a growing body of research suggests addressing food insecurity can improve health, and in turn, it would deliver savings by reducing the number of doctors visits. 

Critics are calling it an “unnecessary expansion” of Medicaid, since there are already other government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and food stamps that offer the same thing.

With a divided government, President Biden has been vocal as of late. He has expressed that Democrats want to fund more programs under Medicaid and Medicare.

“I know for a lot of Republicans their dream is to cut social security and medicare. Well, let me say this. If that’s your dream, I’m your nightmare,” Biden said during his speech in Florida on Feb. 9. 

However, the idea of Medicaid allocating funds for food has some bipartisan support. The GOP is advocating for states to have more control over its Medicaid programs.

Medicaid covering food costs is just one step of a more broad plan. The idea of providing lower-income people with better food, stable homes and transportation could lower the need for costly medical treatment. That is why in a handful of states, Medicaid is also covering the costs of air conditioning, up to six months of rent and filtration devices that boost air quality.

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KARAH RUCKER: THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS APPROVING STATES’ REQUESTS FOR MEDICAID TO START COVERING FOOD COSTS.
IT’S PART OF A PUSH TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT HEALTH PLAN FOR THE POOR COVER COSTS FOR FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND DIETARY PLANS — WITH THE HOPE THAT THEN PEOPLE WILL BECOME MORE HEALTHY — REDUCING THE NUMBER OF MEDICAL VISITS.
IT’S A “PRODUCE PRESCRIPTION” NOW COVERED UNDER MEDICAID’S INSURANCE PLAN.

PRESIDENT BIDEN IS VOUCHING FOR THE GOVERNMENT-PAID LOW-INCOME INSURANCE PLAN TO COVER THE COSTS FOR HEALTHY FOODS AT THE GROCERY STORE — AS A HANDFUL OF STATES ARE SUBMITTING REQUESTS FOR MEDICAID TO FOOT THE BILL FOR FOOD AS IT WOULD FOR MEDICINE ACCORDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. IN ARKANSAS, OREGON, AND MASSACHUSETTS, THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY APPROVED MEDICAID TEST PROGRAMS TO PAY FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES’ FRUITS AND VEGGIES.

CRITICS ARE CALLING IT AN “UNNECESSARY EXPANSION” OF MEDICAID — SINCE THE GOVERNMENT’S SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ALREADY OFFERS THE SAME THING. AND WITH A DIVIDED GOVERNMENT — PRESIDENT BIDEN HAS BEEN VOCAL ABOUT WANTING TO FUND MORE PROGRAMS UNDER MEDICAID AND MEDICARE.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: “I know for a lot of Republicans their dream is to cut social security and medicare. Well let me say this…if that’s your dream, I’m your nightmare.”

HOWEVER THE IDEA OF MEDICAID ALLOCATING FUNDS FOR FOOD HAS SOME BIPARTISAN SUPPORT…WITH THE GOP ADVOCATING FOR STATES TO HAVE MORE CONTROL OVER THEIR MEDICAID PROGRAMS. AND MEDICAID COVERING FOOD COSTS IS JUST ONE STEP OF A MORE BROAD PLAN.

THE IDEA OF PROVIDING LOWER-INCOME PEOPLE WITH BETTER FOOD, STABLE HOMES AND TRANSPORTATION — JUST IN GENERAL UPPING THE QUALITY OF LIFE — COULD LOWER THE NEED FOR COSTLY MEDICAL TREATMENT. WHICH IS WHY IN A HANDFUL OF STATES, THE JOURNAL SAID …MEDICAID IS ALSO COVERING THE COSTS OF AIR CONDITIONING, UP TO SIX MONTHS OF RENT, AND FILTRATION DEVICES THAT BOOST AIR QUALITY.