Children’s HealthWatch Principal Investigator, Dr. Megan Sandel, was featured in an article about efforts to expand the EITC in Massachusetts.

Lawmakers consider ways to pay for income tax credit expansion

To hear Megan Sandel tell it, an income tax credit for low-income families is akin to a prescription that can reduce the risk of pre-term births and low birthweight babies.

Testifying before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Revenue, Sandel pointed to studies that the earned income tax credit helped reduce low birth weight by 7 percent overall and by 8.2 percent among African Americans. A Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago study said recipients of the tax credit buy healthier food, according to Sandel.

Sandel, an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University’s School of Medicine, said increasing the tax credit would “improve the health of my patients” by helping families buy food, pay rent and keep the heat and lights on.

“In this case, if you saw that it was going to have this type of an effect on low birthweight rates, pre-term birth, children’s health, then I think it’s a great investment of money,” she said.

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