White House Claims Meals on Wheels Isn’t ‘Showing Any Results’. Experts Respond.

On Thursday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended the Trump administrations’ decision to significantly slash Meals on Wheels, which delivers warm meals to poor elders, by saying that the programs are “just not showing any results” and “don’t work.”

As Washington Post data reporter Christopher Ingraham found, “actual peer-reviewed evidence says otherwise.”

“We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good and great,” Mick Mulvaney said Thursday of Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to over 1 million elderly Americans every week.

Research found by Ingraham showed that “Home-delivered meal programs improve diet quality and increase nutrient intakes among participants. These programs are also aligned with the federal cost-containment policy to rebalance long-term care away from nursing homes to home- and community-based services by helping older adults maintain independence and remain in their homes and communities as their health and functioning decline.”

A Brown University analysis from 2012 found that states which spend more on Meals on Wheels (and other programs like it) often wind up spending less on nursing homes. Gutting Meals on Wheels is only expected to complicate the Trump administration’s widely-panned efforts to slash Medicaid, as nursing homes account for over one-third of Medicaid spending. It’s estimated that the cost of a one-month nursing home stay is the same as giving home-delivered meals five days a week for approx. seven years.

Health services researcher Aaron E. Carrol also furiously posted multiple peer-reviewed “results” from the last few years:

With so much publicly available evidence obviously contradicting Mulvaney’s inaccurate claim, one can not help but wonder if worsening the lot of underprivileged Americans is precisely the “results” that the Trump administration is hoping for.

Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW