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tv   Washington Journal Dr. Anand Parekh  CSPAN  March 19, 2018 8:32pm-9:02pm EDT

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in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> education secretary betsy devos will be on capitol hill to testify about the administration's budget request for her department. we will have live coverage of that house appropriations subcommittee hearing tuesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. you can also follow live coverage on c-span .org and free c-span radio app. >> next, a look at ways to improve the federal pension program from washington journal this is 25 minutes. >> on mondays in the segment washington journal we occasionally take a look at how your money is at work in a different federal program and this morning we are joined by
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the bipartisan policy center the chief medical advisory and will talk about the supplemental cnutrition assistance as food stamps. how many people are in the snap program and how much it cost the uniteded states each year? >> guest: great to be on. there are about 40 million americans every month on the snap program. two thirds of whom are children and the elderly and those with disability. the cost american public about $70 billion a p year. it's an important program from the perspective off producing food insecurity in this country and also has had a bit of fiscal integrity. we were pleased that the bipartisan policy center recently released a report looking at how do you maximize nutritionalto impact of this important program to make the program even stronger. >> host: will go to that report in the segment of washington journal. as we do if you would like to
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call in, if you are in the snap program, 2,027,488,003. >> or democrats 2,027,488,000 black or republican, 7484 independence, seven [inaudible]. how does one qualify? >> guest: income eligibility. it's about households have to be less than30 hundred 30% of the federal poverty line and have to have limited cash assets. but then again it's a program that is helping millions of -bamericans for income -based ad you get a card and you getting ebt electronic benefit transfer you can purchase food products from a wide variety of vendors one what does the average get on each month. >> guest: it's a range based on income so a couple hundred
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dollars and it's not a lot of money on average. it's only about a dollar 37 every meal so you can imagine trying to find a nutritious meal for $1.37. >> host: what sections are thers on what you can buy with snap. >> guest: there are some restrictions. you can purchase alcohol and i can purchase cigarettes and can purchase a prepared meals or hot food but otherwise there aren't too many other restrictions from a food perspective and so healthy as well as unhealthy foods arem being consumed from this taxpayer nutrition program. >> host: from your study are you calling for new restrictions on what people can buy. >> guest: we are calling for both increase strength and incentives for the purchase of fruits andnd vegetables and healthy food. at the same time the task force is calling for restrictions specifically of sugar sweetened beverages because they are uniquely harmful without any nutritional value and by far
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compared to any other categories the level of evidence is the strongest there. in important point is in no way is a task force from a nanny state perspective saying individuals shouldn't be able to purchase products using their own assets but just like any american they could certainly purchase these but from the snap benefits. again it's focused on nutrition in taxpayer is focused on nutrition and there ought to be restrictions for that category would let's talk about the history of placing restrictions. you talk the nanny state something that is very specific to this program and its history. >> guest: there has been restrictions and you can't purchase things like alcohol or things like cigarettes and this issue of sugars beverages has been for debate prior to this for policymakers and there are a fewns cheese criticism. the answer there is there's nothing to restrict individuals
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from purchase sugars beverages. the second is individuals will simply purchase them and make it up usingng their own dollars and getting potential health effects. economists have look at these benefits they are partially meaning they won't compensate by purchasing this to their own dollars. other arguments that go against the stigma but snap distance themselves have been surveyed and they feel that these types of products should be restricted from the program. >> host: so saying on the sugars we were talking about so that essentially. >> guest: talking about soda as a task force is very clear that the secretary of agriculture and the secretary of health and human services should form a commission to specifically define the category of sugars beverages but generally, you're right. we talk about soda and added sugars in different beverages.
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>> guest: how much of the money spent last year went to purchase sugar sweetened beverages. >> host: is the number one food category of purchased participants. for eligible nonparticipants its number two category so certainly we have room and work to do across the board in this country andse in reducing unhealthy consumption but for the snap program in is the number one category, about 9%, i believe. >> host: everyone herewe comes food stamp recipients in the segment of washington journal as we talkk about the recommendations by the bipartisan policy center and their report is out and you can check it out at bipartisan policy .org and the doctor is with usou till about 9:30 to hae this discussion. we went through the stick part of the recommendation and let's talk the carrots in your recommendation. had you encourage people to purchase the healthier food options and what you recommend?
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>> guest: it has to be accommodation of incentives and disincentives. right now there are incentives on the book, 30% incentives for example to purchase fruits and vegetables and those types of incentives need to be strengthened and expanded and there needs to be innovation snap program as well. there ought to be more testing of ways you can take incentive programs asu well as dissenting programs to see if you can improve health as well as reduce healthcare costs. it's got to be both and it can't just be one or the other. >> host: what's an example of an incentive program? is there a bonus dollar. >> guest: yes, for example in the fruit and vegetables in the incentive program is a 30% credit if you can purchase fruits and vegetables and the needs to be much more experimentation not just at the federal level but at the state level. they ought to be able to apply
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for waivers to come up with examples or opportunities to improve nutrition inn effect the tax force calls for $100 million investment over five years in the pilot evidence-based ways to enhance nutrition in the snap program. >> host: let's bring in a snap recipient, norman is in massachusetts, and independent. norman, good morning. >> caller: this is rachel speaking. i'm going to speak about norman. i'm elderly and disabled and on food stamps and i get about half as much as i used to get a few years ago and none of my circumstances have changed except my rent is gone up, the price of food has gone up but my comment is about norman. friend of mine who is homeless disabled and elderly and because it's difficult for him to receive mail he has been thrown off the food stamp program and try as he might he can't get back on. he's also been thrown off mass
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health and medicare and he takes medication for thyroid, glaucoma, asthma and when he went and found out what the prices are he simply did not have the means to stay with his medication and it is telling on him. he'sea not allowed to eat and can't get medicine and we can't find recourse. i'm't trying to help him as a friend and i don't know what to do. that's my comment. >> guest: thank you for that comment and is a position my heart goes out to both of you and norman. i think this is a clear example of the importance of the supplemental nutrition assistance program and why it is critical to produce food insecurity in this country and in fact, studies have shown that that household has been experiencing less food insecurity by 12 a 19% because of the program. participants have reported reduce foodd insecurity bite
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20-50% in the level of the benefit as i remember earlier is quite small. the task force calls upon more studies to potentially look at raising the amount of the snap benefit but the point that has been raised is there are individuals whoho are not able o be unsnapped or not unsnapped ought to be on snap is an important point and speaks to the important public public policy issues. >> host: did you study dealing with that specific issue of not having a physical address and so therefore not been able to quickly get the snap card? >> guest: we didn't study the tax force specific issue however i think the task force realized that there are many americans out there who need this program were probably eligible but nonparticipants as well. there ought to be ways of reaching those vulnerable americans.
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>> host: another snap recipient, deborah is in florida, a democrat. >> caller: yes, i'm recipientip and i've been disabled since 1989. i would just like to say that i think it's a good idea to restrict foods that have sugar laden foods and that i also think it's curious that the government doesn't consider food as a part of a cost-of-living which i don't get that. also, if i -- its dollar for dollar if my disability is raised by $5 then i get a letter saying your food stamps have been reduced by $5 so i appreciate so much that since i'm disabled i am provided for
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even though it's only $700 a month and i'm so appreciative that they have disability income for people like me but i'm i don't get why food is not considered part of the cost of living. i don't get that. >> guest: i think that's an important part in an informati information. it gets back to the point about the current level of the benefits whether it needs to be raised and something that needs to be study. it also brings to light this idea of who are snap participants in as we hear today snapni participants are all americans and 40% are children and 11% are disabled in 10% are seniors so two thirds are really children, disabled americans or the elderly. it's probably only one third who are of working age in many cases those individuals many have a
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job and have children and families and it's important picture of snap participants in this country. >> host: for those individuals arevi there were performance? >> guest: the task force didn't atget into that specifically or what i do know is that for the small subset of individuals who are snap participants who are able-bodied adults don't have children or family there is a three month limit over the course of three years to be a snap participants. there are current limits for individuals who are able-bodied and don't have children or aren't in hostile yet. >> host: sheila is in new orleans, democrat, good morning. >> guest: good morning. how are you doing? >> host: to well i'm in the same situation as him as the other people that book. i'm disabled and been disabled since 1999. however i was getting food
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stamps and last year, year beforere last, there were ways o check and they decreased it by $20 and they brought me from $80 to $70 and i miss my appointments because i have no one to bring me and i called them andr tried to get someoneo help me over the phone but they said that i have to reapply all over again and that i have to come down and bring every document that they already have in their file. is not able to do so. when i contacted them again they said we will put you back on. they putod me back on the drop u down to $40 a food stamps. i went from $70 a food stamps to $40 in the same year and then they cut me off again. now they cut me off i have been without food stamps which is $40 and i'm on disability and i get my social security and i also still get the disability because
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i get both. i have bills every month just like everybody else. i'm spending cash money for food which doesn't allow me to get much but even with food stamps the amount and the cost of the food is so high that $40 and by the time i get the bed and the butter and the milk i'm almost out ofto the $40 and thank you r sharing your story. >> guest: two observations come to mind. i'm sorry to hear about that situation. task force recommends federal and federal state ordinations (. there are administration issues with the program such as the one we heard. there ought to be better federal and state nation and collaborations to get it these. this point also brings home the point of the importance of
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incentives for healthy food. oftentimes we go to the grocery store and the healthier foods are more expensive and we need to level the playing field and incentives like the ones called for in the snap report and currently in the snap program. they are so important because they level the playing field in with the limited amount of dollars that there are it makes it possible to purchase healthier foods. >> host: what about this option this recommendation? go ahead and debate auctions but network is that something you would recommend? >> hundred. >> guest: tax force looks at that but in general all ideas ought to be on the table. security and nutrition shouldn't be mutually axis policy goals. we should be able to enhance the security in this country as well
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as enhanced nutrition at the same time so there ought to be federal government politics and state waivers and experimentation to improve nutrition. >> host: what about this experiment w station. from the former senior advisor to the trump campaign served in special assistance to the presidents. he had a comment talking about the harvest box and a key part of this it would represent only about half the benefits that any snap participants gets the rest of the benefit would be granted in dollars to that participant that they can use but the harvest box would be specific healthy food from farms that would be sent directly to recipients. what you think ofha that? >> host: the tax force regulations were finalized for the president's fiscal budget came out but can share a couple of initial thoughts harvest box. these are essentially nonperishable food items for certain individuals once they
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get to particular benefit level pastas and peanut butters and other foods like that. i think there are a couple of issues that need to be thought of when you think about going to snap participants. first is the logistics. how you deliver these. second how you distribute these and d potentially the cost. think about food allergies and tolerances is a one size fits all and that's from a nutrition perspective. of course, things like sugar sweetened beverages will be part of them but fresh meats and vegetables went be part of the food box. it is an interesting idea probably in the category of lots of the ideas that too be tested but right now it has received a cool reception from a bipartisan group of experts both on as well as off capitol hill so it's interesting to see where the discussion goes.
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>> host: i think the test first believe there are far better ways to hone in on maximizing nutrition program and again, it is about incentivizing healthy food and desensitizing and restricting unhealthy food and about collecting store level data so we can better inform public health intervention and about improving retailer standards to ensure that healthy choices are offereded and about improving the snap education program. need to improve education so we can make the choice from akron, good morning. >> caller: good morning. there are several thousands positions in the physicians committee for responsible medicineu who would disagree wh you that sugar is the number one
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killer they would say animal product specifically need are the biggest killer and strokes and heart attacks and animal fat, alzheimer's caused by kidney failure caused by neuronal center [inaudible], and muslims, and muslims is the number one killer but the reason that sugar gets bad press and that means is that meat is a much bigger industry which does not only cause disease to human beings but global heating -- >> host: would you advocate for using it and removing it to be bought for snap recipients to. >> caller: yes, it's the most expensive thing and it causes americans are subsidizing the diseases that mediators and are subsidizing animal slaughter and
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animal arrogant. >> guest: i think there are a range of potential unhealthy foods and products out there. sally did not say that sugar is the number one killer but i said that what the task force saw is having the greatest level of evidence. it goes back to the point that there ought to be again more experimentation to combine incentives and incentives and other unhealthy food products, red meat, processing all of these have higher levels of consumption amongst the participants. i think we need to look broadly and i think taking it one step higher than just focusing on sugar sweetened beverages or it's we need to look at the obesity crisis of the country. one third of adults in this country are obese. one in six kids are obese and all of this leads to chronic conditions 1000 americans are
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dying every day from her disease, from stroke and diabetes linked to poor diet. each of those chronic conditions needs to preventable plans of dollars of healthcare costs. why this nutrition they need to focus on why this better nutrition and better diet is really to tackle the obesity crisis. >> host: their chief medical advisor what the doctor are you? >> guest: internal medicine. >> host: and how did you get to the bipartisan policy center? >> guest: i something government as a career civil servant, deputy assistant focusing on prevention, care management, healthcare related issues. previously i was at johns hopkins hospital ad is in turn. >> host: talking about bipartisan policy and mike is in
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canada, independent. mike, good morning. >> caller: good morning. how are you chris for. >> host: doing well, go ahead. >> caller: first thing i like to say is thank god for c-span. it's one of the only places thai is not totally overrun and inundated with leftist fake news. doctor may be well-meaning but since the beginning of this welfare program people have been selling their benefits at a discount in order to buy drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. i'm sorry, doctor, but you have no idea about the fraud, waste and mismanagement of all off these welfare programs. >> guest: the task force honed in on how do you maximize the nutritional impact of the program and it did look again at the program as it exists right now both from a fiscal integrity program as well as a means to reduce food insecurity in this country but the focus was how do youod take this funded program that is well-intentioned and maximize nutrition to improve
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health as well as reduce healthcare costs and it's one more point that i like to make a critical piece of the support was connecting snap in the medicaid programs to over 60% of medicaid beneficiaries are also snap participants. you can imagine if we can improve nutritional decision-making on the step side of the equation we could potentially see improvements in preventable reductions in animal health across on the medicated side of the equation. it's critical link here so improvement in health and improvement in reductions in healthcare costs iff we can maximize and optimize nutrition in the program. >> host: if you're looking for the title of the report is available from the bipartisan policy center. barbara is in new york city, independent, go ahead. >> caller: good morning. doctor, i've heard people call up washington journal and say that the food stamp recipients
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should buy things like toothpaste with their ebt cards. wouldd you specifically talk about what products that stamp recipients cannot buy? i think it's like toothpaste for women menstrual projects, detergent, things like that could you talk specifically about what products they cannot buy with their ebt cards. >> guest: again, i think there are a range of products that are restrictive. i mentioned a couple at the outset like alcohol and cigarettes and hot meals and others. i think -- prepared meals if you will. i think most products have to be a food orientation. there are restrictions and precedents for you just can't purchase anything and i think there are strict rules and regulations for that. >> host: maybe tony can talk us through some of them. tony is in arkansas on step benefits program, republican, what are the restrictions are in place for you when you take your
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snap card out to the store? >> caller: actually we got so in alienated by the fact that between my wife and i we are both on disability and she get $743 a month and i get 750 and all we can get is $8 a month in food stamps. we are told that we don't meet the income standards so i was just wondering if they could address that. >> guest: thank you for the question.th as i recall the income standards are essentially you have to be below 130% of the poverty line for households and have limited cash assets but it sounds like again these are administrative related issues and therel are cases where the federal government and the text force me to do better job with administration to make sure those individuals who are eligible to receiving the proper benefit that they need. >> host: it's bipartisan policy .org.
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he is the chief medical advisor there. we appreciate your time as always. come back again. >> guest: thank you. >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning: be sure to watch washington journal on tuesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. >> on a landmark is a series we will explore the 1896 case.
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it established the separate but equal doctrine that is life next on c-span2. then in about 90 minutes it will get an update on possible talks with north korea. ... but once the court took as quite unpopular. let's go through a few cases to illustrate very dramatically the
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visual of what it means for different people who have helped to stick together because they created a rule of law. good evening and welcome to landmark cases. tonight plus he versus ferguson. this case established separate but equal and allowed the balls to forage in the country for the next five decades after the decision. it didn't change in the united states until the 1954 brown v. board of education decision and the supreme court and civil and voting rights act of the 1960s. decades before rosa parks refused to give up her seat on an alabama bus, plessey took a seat in a railroad car and we are going to introduce you to a descendent and he will set the stage

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