The White House Office of Management and Budget yesterday published a notice seeking comment on a potential change in the annual inflation factor that the Census Bureau uses to measure poverty, which would have eligibility implications for a number of federal safety-net programs, including Medicaid and premium and cost-sharing subsidies for health insurance exchange enrollees. Under current law, the Census Bureau uses the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers to annually inflate the official poverty measure. During the 45-day comment period, the administration seeks input on the strengths and weaknesses of certain alternative inflation measures, such as the Chained CPI for All Urban Consumers and the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The alternatives are generally lower than the current inflation measure, although it varies by measure and year.

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