Oh, SNAP: USDA destroys Aldone Wos' "Obamacare!" excuse

That's gonna leave a mark:

In the latest response in a months-long back and forth between the federal agency and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, USDA administrators say the state is still at risk of losing federal funding for the food stamps program. If the state doesn't fix the massive backlog of cases, that could happen as soon as mid-March.

The USDA also questioned the state's claim that implementation of the Affordable Care Act was to blame for many of the difficulties.

"It should be noted that many other States have implemented ACA without the dramatic impacts on SNAP that have occurred in North Carolina," USDA Regional Administrator Robin Bailey wrote to DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos Thursday.

My understanding is that only the administrative funding is at risk (subsidizing Wos' staff?), but not the money for the actual food stamps themselves. If she loses that funding, will the Legislature step up and pay for the administrative costs? If they don't, and delays get even worse, what's the next step? Has the USDA ever taken over a state's food stamp disbursement? Somehow I get the feeling the only people who will suffer from this are the same ones who usually suffer, the poor.

Comments

Benghazi

It's the only thing Wos could have said that would be more ridiculous than her Obamacare meme. The SNAP screw up at DHHS is really all Hillary Clinton's fault because you know, Benghazi!

SNAP

Benghazi....nooooo....BEVGHAZI....its Perdues and Hillarys fault...and oh right, I forgot....Obamacare.

lvl

Just how bad it really is

According to the Raleigh News & Observer:

The [USDA] letter notes that the backlog as of Jan. 21 exceeded 23,000 households, with 8,327 waiting more than three months. Federal law requires that applications be processed within 30 days.

State totals dated Thursday show counties missed deadlines for 19,974 applications. Of those, 8,963 were for hardship cases, representing households that have almost no money. Under federal law, hardship applications must be processed within seven days. But nearly 1,400 of those applications have been pending for more than four months, according to state data, and more than 2,000 have been sitting from 31-60 days.

Yes, that's right -- federal law requires 1-month processing but more than 8,000 households have been waiting for more than 3 months; hardship cases must be processed in ONE WEEK but thousands have been waiting for up to FOUR MONTHS.

And these people aren't waiting for a loan to buy a yacht; they're waiting for assistance to feed their families.

This has been going on for months, and "Customer Service" Pat and "Everything's Great" Aldona clearly don't give a shit. When you're responsible for thousands of people going hungry, how do you sleep at night?

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

More questions for the News and Observer

I really have to ask a deeper question here - is there a difference between the households that are getting processed promptly and those that aren't? Are there particular counties, geographic areas or zip codes where Aldona's staff are dragging their feet?

Are the applications being processed "first-in/first-out"?

If not, the taxpayers of NC deserve to know if there's a pattern to how these are being processed. Are they dragging their feet on applications from minority or more liberal counties or zip codes?

Either Pat needs to dismiss Aldona and come clean about what's going on or reporters need to start asking some really hard questions about what's really going on here.

Wasn't it said...

...in the hearing last week that DHHS thought that about half of the unprocessed applications were duplicates and had to be sorted out?

How hard is that?...my email program can sort through my mail and has many options as how to group it....all in just a second or two...

They claim

that the duplicates have been addressed. But that is apparently the only progress they've made, and they promised the feds more progress, and the feds expect more progress (so do I).

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

I could not agree more

I am personally seeing this delay and non-action affecting people. This is an abomination and you are right that it will take media sources to investigate why and how this is happening. With all of the government heads in North Carolina being republican we can't expect to see anyone legitimately looking into this. Here it is Winter and people are hurting. This is not the time to play politics with people's lives. Maybe the News and Observer will see this here on Bluenc and get the hint.

Vos, NC DHHS, NC Medicaid, privacy, McCrory

Is this a plot? Get USDA to withdraw funds, then shut down the whole program for 'lack of funding?'

Pat and Aldona

aren't that smart.

But Gov. Pope is. We know they want to privatize everything and Wos's goal is to put her own agency out of business. I expect they would consider it a coup if they could blame Obamacare and the feds for their own sick plot against the poor.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis