The Trump administration is weighing changes to the way poverty is measured in the United States, a move critics say would break with decades of precedent and threaten social welfare recipients, according to a Monday report.
Under the new proposals outlined by the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday, poverty would be measured using a “chained consumer price index.” The new method, contrary to a formula that has been used since the 1960s, assumes that consumers will opt for less-expensive items as the cost of living rises. The office says that the chained CPI would reflect slower inflation growth.
In a notice published to the federal register, the Office of Management and Budget said the proposed changes to the guidelines may affect eligibility for social welfare programs like Medicaid and food stamps, Bloomberg reported.
The move is the latest effort by the Trump administration to overhaul social welfare qualifications. Last year, the president signed an executive order that directed federal agencies to toughen work requirements for social welfare recipients.
“Millions of able-bodied, working-age adults continue to collect food stamps without working or even looking for work,” Trump said in December. “Our goal is to move these Americans from dependence to independence, and into a good-paying job and rewarding career.”