Lacking Papers, Citizens Are Cut From Medicaid
WASHINGTON, March 11-A new federal rule intended to keep illegal immigrants from receiving Medicaid has instead shut out tens of thousands of United States citizens who have had difficulty complying with requirements to show birth certificates and other documents proving their citizenship, state officials say.
Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia have all reported declines in enrollment and traced them to the new federal requirement, which comes just as state officials around the country are striving to expand coverage through Medicaid and other means....
...Dr. Martin C. Michaels, a pediatrician in Dalton, Ga., who has been monitoring effects of the federal rule, said: "Georgia now has 100,000 newly uninsured U.S. citizen children of low-income families. Many of these children have missed immunizations and preventive health visits. And they have been admitted to hospitals and intensive care units for conditions that normally would have been treated in a doctor's office."
Dr. Michaels, who is president of the Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that some children with asthma had lost their Medicaid coverage and could not afford the medications they had been taking daily to prevent wheezing. "Some of these children had asthma attacks and had to be admitted to hospitals," he said....
Mar 18, '07
the point of the article was that this requirement harms children born in the us. as usual the repubs are suffering from a case of severe cranial-rectal impaction. does anyone care that by putting these kids in an uninsured status we end up paying 3-5 times the ordinary treatment cost for their care when they are treated through the er or hospitalized?
we all pay more for our health insurance because these uncovered costs are shifted to our health insurance plans through higher premiums and fees for services.
the easy solution is to allow provisional enrollment and give the states permission to access online databases of legal birth certificates. (the hospital issued certificate may not meet the federal requirement of "official".) asking poor families to pay for and produce official documents for benefits that they qualify for is an undue financial burden.
imagine that document fees were based on your hourly wage. to get a copy of your birth certificate is 3 hours of work and you must pay your hourly wage pretax for the document. in minnesota a birth certificate costs 15$ in round numbers. this is the equivalent of 3 hours of work for a poor person at minimum wage. now you as a nurse earning 25 dollars per hour to replace your birth certificate must pay 75 dollars to replace your birth certificate to submit so you can renew your drivers license and you must show an original document each time you renew. is that a reasonable burden? of course not but that is the kind of burden that the the repub congress placed on poor families. this kind of id/document requirement smells of fascism.
from the article:
dr. martin c. michaels, a pediatrician in dalton, ga., who has been monitoring effects of the federal rule, said: “georgia now has 100,000 newly uninsured u.s. citizen children of low-income families. many of these children have missed [color=#004276]immunizations
and preventive health visits. and they have been admitted to hospitals and intensive care units for conditions that normally would have been treated in a doctor’s office.”
dr. michaels, who is president of the georgia chapter of the [color=#004276]american academy of pediatrics
, said that some children with [color=#004276]asthma
had lost their medicaid coverage and could not afford the medications they had been taking daily to prevent wheezing. “some of these children had asthma attacks and had to be admitted to hospitals,” he said.
barry e. nangle, the state registrar of vital statistics in utah, said, “the new federal requirement has created a big demand for birth certificates by a group of people who are not exactly well placed to pay our fees.” states typically charge $10 to $30 for a certificate.
Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Mar 18, '07