President’s proposal would change calculation of the poverty line, lowering it when it should be raised
A Trump administration proposal would change how poverty is determined in America. If adopted, the regulatory rule would remove thousands from the federal categorization of poverty, cutting off public health care, housing and more for many already hanging on by a thread.
Here’s how the rule would work: The federal government would apply a lower measure of inflation to set the federal poverty level, which is used to determine eligibility for food, health, housing and other assistance programs for low-income households. As a result, fewer families would be eligible to access the vital support they need and would have otherwise qualified for.
With the slower growth of the poverty level compounding over time, this seemingly abstract change creates tangible harms for millions of Americans. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an estimated 300,000 children would lose comprehensive health coverage, and another 150,000 insured under the Affordable Care Act would lose cost-sharing assistance over the next 10 years.