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Association Comments on Consumer Inflation Measure Updates

In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern that changes to the consumer inflation index would negatively impact vulnerable populations’ access to Medicaid coverage and other critical, income-based programs.

In May, OMB requested feedback on how differences among consumer price indexes might influence the estimation of the official poverty measure and other income measures. The agency proposed an update to the consumer inflation index, switching from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to a different measure. OMB’s request did not explicitly seek comment on the poverty guidelines or their application at this time and does not include analysis of the proposed change.

In its comments, America’s Essential Hospitals urged OMB to thoroughly examine and solicit comment on the affect applying a different consumer inflation index will have on income-based programs and consult the relevant federal agencies that implement these programs before considering such a change.

Comments on the proposal are due to OMB by June 21.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Rachel Schwartz is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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