Babies Share the Burden!

Federal Policy Update
Once Again, What It Means When Babies Must Share the Burden

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to slash several entitlement programs important to low-income families and individuals. The Sequester Replacement and Reconciliation Act of 2012 (H.R. 5652) also shredded last year’s agreement on discretionary spending levels for domestic and defense programs, cutting spending for FY 2013 by an additional $19 billion. The bill shifts deficit reduction more squarely onto the shoulders of those Americans—including young children—for whom shared sacrifice means going without food or medical care.

To review the cuts: The bill would cut $309 billion over 10 years from mandatory funding, with $128 billion (42%) of those savings coming from programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Child Tax Credit, and the elimination of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Once again, we are left to ponder what it means when babies shoulder the burden of deficit reduction. And sadly, since we’ve been here before, we know the answers: More babies will be born too soon and too small.  More will go hungry.  Fewer will have stable, caring families.  And fewer will be ready for school.  To learn more about how The Sequester Replacement and Reconciliation Act of 2012 impacts vulnerable babies and young children, read the Federal Policy Baby Blog.