Monday, October 18, 2004
States cut more services for illegal aliens.
Colorado has "cut off prenatal care for thousands of illegal immigrants. . . . At least one nonprofit program providing health care to legal and illegal patients faces a big cut in funding. . . . Last month, the state tightened its Medicaid rules another notch, scrapping a practice called presumptive eligibility that allowed any pregnant woman to receive prenatal care while the state determined whether she qualified for Medicaid. The process allowed many illegal immigrants to obtain prenatal care for up to four months, when abnormalities in the mother and the fetus usually are detected."The article provides good background on this decision, as well as the dual critiques that this cutback is penny wise and pound foolish (an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure) and sets a dubious public-health precedent of cutting out a large segment of the population from the health care system.
By contrast, the article reports that, "[c]onsidering the greater potential for postdelivery expense, many states have created alternative programs for pregnant undocumented women. California, New York and Illinois are among states that by law guarantee prenatal care to all women. Other states, such as Texas, make prenatal care available to undocumented women through a combination of locally funded programs and federal money."