North Carolina Senate Budget Rejects Some Pregnant Mothers From Medicaid
op-ed article in the News & Observer decries the budget North Carolina senators passed, particularly a change in the Medicaid program that would shift some low-income pregnant mothers onto private insurance partially subsidized by the state.
The opinion piece, written by Adam Searing, a healthcare project director of liberal advocacy group NC Justice Center, claims the state began covering pregnant women earning up to 185 percent of the poverty line through Medicaid in 1989 as part of a bipartisan response to statistics showing North Carolina had the highest infant mortality rate in the nation. The Republican governor at the time "eventually gave the majority of the credit" for the state's declining infant mortality rate to Medicaid revision, Mr. Searing wrote.
Shifting pregnant mothers to the private insurance market is "not realistic" because the health law was written intending for all states to expand Medicaid, a provision that was relegated to optional by the Supreme Court last summer. Mr. Searing argued rejecting nearly impoverished pregnant mothers from Medicaid will be a "terrible cost both in money and infant health."
North Carolina's Medicaid program currently has the lowest growth rate in the nation at 3.5 percent, according to Mr. Searing.
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