Friday, January 30, 2009

A good bill for kids

NYT: Senate Approves Children's Health Bill

For the people I work with, this is good news! The passing of this bill means more of the children we serve will have more health coverage. For the record, I'm not a fan of universal government-provided health care, but this legislation is a far cry from "socialized" medicine.

Expanding benefits for legal immigrants is particularly helpful. Previously, a woman had to live here for 5 years before she was eligible for Medicaid. Picture this true story: a man who is an American citizen cannot get Medicaid for his pregnant immigrant wife because she's only been here two years. Coverage for this family makes preventative sense: if she can afford prenatal care, their child is less likely to be born too early or weigh too little. If the baby gets all his immunizations and has a regular pediatrician, he's less likely to develop long-term health problems. That means fewer future health costs for Medicaid/private insurance/the parents, whoever.

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