- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Demand for food stamps has increased in Illinois and 10 other states despite a healthier economy and better jobs numbers. An Associated Press analysis finds it’s an unforeseen consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

People signing up for Medicaid under the health law’s expansion of coverage are signing up for food stamps too. Illinois food stamp enrollment rose 2.5 percent during 2013 and 2014.

That’s a period when Illinois was modernizing its enrollment system, using federal money made available through the health law. A new online application - nicknamed “ABE” for the 16th president - makes signing up for benefits easier than ever.

More than 2 million Illinois residents get food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

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