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Food Stamps, Medicaid Affected by New Bill

Kentucky officials are analyzing the potential impact of the new education, jobs and Medicaid bill signed this week by President Barack Obama. Part of the measure is designed to help states pay for Medicaid, the low income health care program.  To help meet Medicaid costs, Congress will reduce federal food stamp funding more quickly than anticipated, says Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokeswoman Vikki Franklin.“That’s returning payments to pre-stimulus rates in 2014.  At this point, we’ve not yet seen estimates of the impact on states of the reduced funding for food stamps.  But we are hopeful that Congress will address the issue before 2014 and that the recovery will decrease the anticipated need by then," said Franklin.In the past two years, the number of Kentucky households receiving food stamps has increased by more than 70,000 to nearly 360,000 households statewide.