Mothering Justice is a member of the Michigan Safety Net Coalition. Safety Net programs include cash and in-kind transfers targeted to poor and vulnerable households, with the goal of protecting families from the impact of economic shocks, natural disasters, and other crises.The largest areas under attack within the Safety Net are SNAP and Medicare/Medicaid. It is not only about preventing cuts for these programs, it is also a matter of preventing harsh forms of eligibility, for instance, work requirements and/or arduous monthly reporting.
SNAP is the country’s most effective anti-hunger program, helping 1 in 8 Americans afford a basic diet, with most SNAP participants being children, seniors, or people with disabilities. Despite providing modest benefits (averaging about $1.40 per person per meal) the program combats food insecurity, alleviates poverty, and has long-term positive impacts on health as well as on children’s educational attainment.
Medicaid provides health coverage to 37 million children, along with the nearly 9 million kids covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which means that mothers are less worried about how their children will receive medical coverage that they can afford.
Medicaid pays for nearly half of all U.S. births, which impacts mothers tremendously. Expansions of Medicaid coverage for low-income pregnant women during the 1980s and early 1990s led to an 8.5 percent reduction in infant mortality and a 7.8 percent reduction in the incidence of low birth weight.