Politico reports that the Trump administration is considering a major reorganization of the nation’s welfare programs, especially by shifting food stamps from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Human Services—and, in the process, renaming HHS.
This is a very big deal—and, in some respects, a very good idea. Right now, it’s tough for eligible families to navigate the complex system that sprawls across multiple departments. A one-stop-shop, especially if it created a single point of contact for program recipients and one integrated database for program managers, would be a big step forward for everyone.
Consider what we have now. At the Department of Health and Human Services, there’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the traditional welfare program; Medicaid (which provides health care for the poor); and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Treasury Department runs the Earned Income Tax Credit Program (EITC), which operates as a refundable tax credit through the income tax system. The Housing and Urban Development Department manages housing assistance programs through vouchers and provides payments to help lower-income individuals afford energy bills and weatherize their homes. And then there’s the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), managed by the Department of Agriculture along with child nutrition programs in the schools and community organizations.
Read more at Government Executive.