Medicare Drug Program May Cut Into Food Aid

Low-Income Seniors Face Tough Choice Between Medicine, Food

One of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in the new Medicare prescription drug law is a $600-a-year benefit for low-income recipients. The law stipulates that the subsidy should not be used to decrease other federal benefits.

But administrators of the federal food stamp program say that while the $600 isn't counted as income, beneficiaries who receive it could see a reduction in their food aid.

As NPR's Julie Rovner reports, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture confirm that food stamps subsidies will be cut if seniors take advantage of the Medicare drug discount plan.

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