Proposed Changes to the Public Charge Rule Will Push Thousands of Florida’s Children Out of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
By Matt Childers, Ph.D.
Updated November 14, 2018
On October 10, 2018, the Trump Administration published proposed changes to the “public charge” immigration rules that govern how the use of public benefits affect an immigrant’s legal status. These changes are likely to harm millions of immigrant families across the country, but states with large immigrant populations will be disproportionately affected. In this brief, we analyze the impacts that the proposed changes will have on SNAP enrollment (food stamps) among U.S.-born children in “mixed-status” families in Florida and its major metropolitan areas. (By “mixed-status,” we refer to families whose children are citizens, but one or both of the parents are not.) We find that over 80,000 kids will lose SNAP benefits across the state and over half of them reside in the Miami metropolitan area.
The changing global climate is already creating far-reaching impacts on population health in Florida that, paired with barriers to affordable healthcare access, will impact Florida’s most vulnerable populations. One particular concern is the increased threat of vector-borne diseases. Thanks to South Florida’s unique environment and status as an international gateway, Florida is particularly vulnerable to vector-borne diseases. The public health impacts of this threat are compounded by the fact that many cannot access affordable health coverage, including over 20% of adult Floridians. This brief explains the increasing threat of vector-borne disease in Florida as a result of the changing climate and the available public-sector responses, including expanding Florida’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Vector-borne diseases are transmitted through a vector species, such as a mosquito, usually through a bite. Several biological and environmental factors control the transmission and spread of vector-borne diseases. While some factors are capable of human control, Florida also faces major environmental factors, including temperature and rainfall, which impact pathogen infectivity and survival as well vector species breeding. Hurricanes also provide an opportunity for vector-borne diseases to spread—heavy rains, storm surge, and damage create breeding opportunities for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Written by Anne Swerlick and published by the Florida Policy Institute. Re-published here with their permission.
Access to affordable and timely health care can prevent disease, lead to healthier children and families and lower expenses in emergency care and chronic disease treatment. In a state like Florida, which has a growing population of both young and old residents, health care is one of those backbones of the state's economy. A healthy workforce is key to attracting investors and ensuring sustainable development in the state. Florida's current health system is not sufficient to keep residents healthy and able to work and it will not support Florida's aging population.
On November 6, Florida voters will decide on Amendment 5, which would - at best - lock the state into its already inequitable health care system that keeps thousands from accessing needed care. At worst, it could increase disparities, shutting out access for thousands more. The measure would require a two-thirds (supermajority) vote of the state Legislature to approve any new state revenue, taxes and fees, or to eliminate tax incentives, loopholes and other such expenditures.
Florida currently has the wrong priorities, giving special tax breaks to big corporations while putting up barriers to accessing health care services. Amendment 5 locks in these failed priorities before the state has a change to recover from deep cuts following the Great recession and supermajority requirement would likely require huge finding cuts in the wake of another fiscal crisis. Amendment 5 would unnecessarily restrict investments in Florida's future.
The Florida Health Justice Project, a new nonprofit advocacy organization, seeks to improve access to affordable healthcare for Floridians, with a focus on vulnerable low-income populations.
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE WITHIN THE STATE AT 1-800-435-7352 . IT CAN ALSO BE FOUND AT WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE STATE.