Health Impact Project Releases Initial Findings of a Health Impact Assessment of the U.S. Farm Bill

Health Impact Project Releases Initial Findings of a Health Impact Assessment of the U.S. Farm Bill

GRANTEE NEWS

Today, the Health Impact Project released initial findings of a health impact assessment (HIA) of the U.S. farm bill, which focused on proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The HIA considers changes proposed during the 112th Congress by the full Senate (S. 3240) and the House Agriculture Committee (H.R. 6083) to the way in which states determine eligibility and benefit levels for participation in SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). The changes in both bills were intended to reduce government spending and improve program integrity. Senator Reid reintroduced the Senate bill earlier this week for consideration by the Senate.

Read the Initial Findings document (PDF)

The analysis projects that between 1.7 million and 5 million people would lose their SNAP benefits if the proposed changes in the House were to take place. Compared with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of 1.8 million participants would lose SNAP benefits, our analysis suggests that far more people could be at risk. 

To produce the most accurate estimates possible, the Health Impact Project used the recently updated dataset released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and relied on a model that includes information on participants’ assets.  

The Health Impact Project worked with Mathematica Policy Research to analyze data from the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program quality control system and the Survey of Income and Program Participants (SIPP) to estimate impacts on eligibility, participation, and benefit levels. The result is new information on the number of people who would potentially be affected and the possible health implications for those program participants. The analysis uses the same data and models used by USDA to estimate changes in SNAP eligibility and participation. The project team’s analysis also draws upon a systematic review of the literature, along with findings from key informant interviews with a sample of state and local SNAP administrators to identify the impacts on program administration.

The goal of an HIA is to employ a flexible, data-driven approach that considers the health consequences of a prospective policy change and offers policy recommendations to maximize benefits and minimize any negative impacts on health. This analysis is intended to offer a new lens through which to view the policy options, by bringing solid evidence on the health implications to the discussion. 

Learn more about HIA

The Health Impact Project has made the initial findings available to Hill staff, a wide variety of decision makers, and experts to solicit feedback that will shape the final HIA. Circulating initial findings with stakeholders is an essential step in conducting an HIA. Similar to peer review, it improves the quality and specificity of the assessment and ensures that all relevant data have been considered.

The final HIA will include additional research and analysis based on feedback received on the initial findings document and will be released in spring 2013.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.