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Is Wic the reason why formula is so damn expensive?

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Question: Do you think Wic is the reason why formula is so expensive?




Don't know, don't care.

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Total Votes: 76

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I went to the store the other day and took a nostalgic walk down the baby isle and happened upon the formula. I was shocked how expensive it was. 23$ a can! That seems like such an outrageous price to pay for something baby has to have to live. My mil told me when she was FF in the early 90's, formula was only 6$ a can. Much more reasonable. But to be honest, all of the women I know who do FF, use Wic. So that got me wondering, is giving away so much free formula (WIC participants consume roughly 54% of all formula sold in the United States) the reason why it's so expensive?

Here's an article I found.

Originally set to help low-income families, currently about 45 percent of all families receive WIC payments. Here we go: So about 50 percent of Americans are helping to support the other 50 percent!

Remarkably, the WIC program accounts for about half of all infant formula sold in the nation. The program was supposed to be only for low-income families, yet it now provides free formula for many middle-income families that certainly don’t need government subsidies.

An even more troubling aspect of WIC is that it encourages parents to feed their babies infant formula rather than breast milk. The share of mothers on WIC who are breastfeeding is substantially lower than that of mothers not using WIC. That effect runs directly counter to the universal advice of health care experts regarding the superiority of breast milk for child development. The WIC program results in low-income parents substituting less nutritious formula for more nutritious mother’s milk.

Another troubling aspect of WIC is that the program’s large subsidies for infant formula appear to be driving up the retail price. The price of formula has risen rapidly since the early 1980s as WIC enrollment has increased. Because recipients are not sensitive to the pricing of WIC food items such as formula, stores can raise prices and receive larger cash redemptions from state agencies

The WIC program drives up the cost of formula for families not on the program as well, and some portion of the taxpayer subsidies for WIC ends up going to the makers of infant formula. This “leakage” of benefits is a common problem in subsidy programs. It is thought, for example, that rising government subsidies for college education have helped spur the rapid inflation in college tuition costs.

Full article here

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM
Replies (101-105):
by Leanne on Nov. 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Yea, WIC's funding is based on the number of subscribers they have the year before, so they do encourage people to sign up if they qualify so that they don't loose funding... it's really a rather screwed up way to do it.

Quoting PortiaRose:

People do it all the time, with various things. WIC calls people and tells them to sign up, by the way. I didn't want it, but they were like "free shit!" So I did.

Quoting paganbaby:

What? No, I was talking about a relative of mine.

Honestly I couldn't give a hair on a dogs ass if you choose to ff or bf. I just don't like moms making an expensive decision simply because they know someone else will foot the bill.

Quoting PortiaRose:

Huh? We know each other irl?

I didn't breastfeed because I didn't need someone on my tits constantly. Bottom line. I chose not to feed my child that way because of MY comfort level.

Quoting paganbaby:

Quoting Due9:

I really don't want to believe that I pay full price between $23-27 for one container of powder formula because it supports the other half that have children that cannot pay for it and need WIC. That would really irritate me. Another thing that irritates me is that WIC "may" be encouraging formula use instead of trying to breastfeed. I understand that some women have tried breastfeeding and just cannot be successful at it and need to use formula (I am an example), but if I even think that a mother refuses to even try because she will get free formula just irritates the crap out of me.

That is *if* this is even true.

I can't say for sure for the first but I can for the second. I know someone who won't even try to BF because it's "icky" and besides, wic pays for the formula anyway. *Sigh...*

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by Bronze Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM
You don't just get formula on wic ... You get other things also and I believe the companies set the prices and the government picks up the bill so the cost I don't believe has anything to do with wic.
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I didn't read your article, nor other replies, I voted your poll and answered based on my life experience.  Formula was always expensive.  It was expensive when my mom used formula for me 60+ years ago,  it was expensive when I used it for my daughter 37 years ago .  WIC has nothing to do with it.  It is a in demand product... like medication over priced.., and if you need a specific type of formula specialized for your child with specific allergies then prices for the formula are even higher.   If you please, try comparing specialized formula to certain medications.   For instance:

Hydrolyzed Formula

Similac Expert Care Alimentum Hypoallergenic Nutrition Formula, Powder, With Iron, 1-Pound (454 g) (Pack of 6)
Amazon Price: $140.95
List Price: $179.99

Now if one needs Plavix (heart medication) and until recently there was not a generic it was close to $200 for a one month supply.   It is an in demand medication (especially for seniors), just like specialty formula can be in demand for infants.

butterfly on headlynda  

by Christy on Nov. 20, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Formula is expensive because it can be. It is similar to the way prescriptions are expensive. People who use it have to use a particular one. There is little way to shop different brands as switching is not recommended. The brand starts at the hospital to determine the correct one for the infant (the one they can tolerate).

by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:00 AM

The cost of formula was the only reason my exh supported my breastfeeding. I think more women should breastfeed and I think the cost of formula promotes that.

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