USA Today has an editorial condemning "heat and eat," which it calls a "trick" to milk the food stamp program:
to give someone with no actual heating bill a token amount of home heating assistance — as little as $1 a year in some states, or a single dime a year in California. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., use the gimmick to extract billions of dollars in extra federal food-stamp benefits that their citizens aren't really entitled to under the rules....It is a scam that bends the rules in ways lawmakers never intended. It gives some people extra benefits while others in the same situation get less. And it's serious money: Closing this loophole would save more than $8 billion over the next 10 years.