Urge Legislature to Reinstate Access to Prenatal Care for Unborn Children
Two years ago, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified Nebraska that its decades-long policy of insuring prenatal health care for unborn children in impoverished families under the Medicaid program had to be discontinued. Medicaid does not include the unborn as eligible recipients of prenatal health care in their own right. However, another joint federal-state program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), does just that. In fact, the CHIP program explicitly includes unborn children “from conception to birth” in its definition of “child.” This enables the state to provide coverage of prenatal health care regardless of the mother’s eligibility status–other than impoverishment–and in doing so recognizes the individual humanity of the unborn child.
Unfortunately, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) has chosen not to apply for the unborn-child option available under CHIP. However, the Nebraska Legislature is about to begin debate on LB 599, a bill that would restore access to prenatal health care for vulnerable unborn children by requiring NDHHS to apply for the unborn-child option under CHIP.
Contact your state senator–and any others you know or with whom you have a connection–by e-mail or phone. Urge others to do the same. Even if you acted on the previous alert on this matter, please do a follow-up, as the matter has become even more urgent due to scheduling on the bill.
“Please support LB 599, to restore access to prenatal health care for vulnerable unborn children by means of the unborn-child option of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. As a Pro Life Nebraskan, I believe it is wrong to ignore and penalize unborn children in impoverished families because of the circumstances and actions of their parents. LB 599 is the right and caring thing to do.
ASAP. LB 599 is likely to be called for floor debate sometime tomorrow-Tuesday, April 3rd.
You can find additional Talking Points for LB 599 here.
You can e-mail senators through the Nebraska Legislative webpage at:
http://nebraskalegislature.gov or by using the legislator’s first initial plus their last name followed by @leg.ne.gov (example: firstname.lastname@example.org)