The U.S. debt ceiling negotiations could affect the health insurance of more than half a million Americans, as House Republicans are pushing for an increase in the work requirements for recipients of federal welfare, currently called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated on Friday that it was not possible for them to continue spending more and more each year and that they needed to decrease their spending from year to year.
Under this proposal, around 600,000 Americans, most of whom are low- or moderate-income people between the ages of 19 and 56, are at risk of losing their health care after being pushed out of federal Medicaid funding. There is a chance that those who are going to be losing their Medicaid coverage, welfare, or SNAP benefits are not going to know that they were removed from this federal program until it is too late.
The Congressional Budget Office analysis from April estimated that the removal of those people could help the government save $109 billion over the next decade. This is a very small amount when compared to the $32 trillion in federal debt that the Republican and Democratic administrations have amassed.
The White House has repeatedly claimed that the debt ceiling should be increased before they begin to consider the Republican’s demands for spending cuts. Currently, it is estimated that the debt ceiling could be reached as early as June 1st.
Democratic lawmakers on the other hand have been pushing for Biden to not accept the Republican’s demands for program cuts that could affect low-income Americans, still the White House continues the negotiations.