Taking every opportunity to punish the poor:
North Carolina, however, is the only state Lower-Basch has found that’s stopped processing TANF applications. That’s problematic, she said, because the longer the shutdown continues, the longer those applicants will see critical benefits delayed.
All of which is unnecessary. Last month, the U.S. Health and Human Services Family Assistance Office wrote a pre-shutdown letter to states, promising to reimburse money states had to spend to cover federal TANF benefits. That’s probably why so few states have yet to talk about shutting down their TANF programs.
Whether it's incompetence or actual malice towards those who would seek these benefits would be difficult if not impossible to discern, but either way DHHS is failing in its basic mission: to provide health services.