A bill heard in the House Health and Human Services Committee this week would impose asset restrictions on recipients of SNAP, the Supplement Nutritional Assistance Program, and on certain medical assistance enrollees.
Republicans argue the bill will save the state money and prevent fraudulent use of the state’s assistance programs. However, SNAP is federally funded and has no direct effect on the state budget. Imposing an asset test in medical assistance for families with children and adults without children is not allowed under current federal law.
Asset tests do not protect the state budget from fraudulent activities, they simply put food support and health care out of reach for more people. There is also concern that the bill will add to counties’ already overburdened workloads, without providing funding for the additional staff or personhours required to determine eligibility under these new requirements. This bill is yet another approach by Republicans to chip away at vital programs under the guise of eliminating fraud and abuse.
The bill was only heard on an informational basis and no action was taken. (SF 3333)