Impact of the bill/interim resolution if it becomes law or does not become a law
The legislative bill 599 has pros and cons if it is enacted into law or whether it is rejected. If the legislature opts to restore the government funded prenatal care program for illegal immigrants, it will translate to reduced frequency of newborns born with birth complications. Birth complications and defects account for most of the cases of child mortality in America, and will also result in reduced financial expenses attributed to intensive care usage and complications associated with delivery. This means that immigrant expectant mothers would be eligible to get free health care services funded by the taxpayers. This bill among other things facilitates the provision of free prenatal health care services to all women irrespective of their immigrant status provided that this care is precisely related to the patient’s pregnancy and should not include an organ transplant. The bill is intended to permit the state of Nebraska to maintain prenatal health care services provided to unborn children belonging to low income women. This means that mothers of low income will be able to get state funded health care for complication related to their pregnancy. Enactment into law would also mean that the legal citizens of Nebraska would have to pay higher taxes so that the state can finance the prenatal health care program (“Legislative Bill 599,” 2011).
In the event that the bill is defeated and does not become law, it would mean that thousands of illegal immigrants would not be eligible to receive prenatal health services financed by the state or offered by Medicare and Medicaid services. As a result a huge population of the immigrant population will be left without any adequate health cover, which will probably result into increased cases of child birth complications such as low birth weight which would have been easily detected during prenatal care. It is estimated that for every dollar invested in prenatal health care services offered to illegal immigrants, the state saves about four dollars from complications that would arise from childbirth (“Legislative Bill 599,” 2011).
Testimony for the bill/interim resolution
The bill takes note that the unborn child does not poses any immigration status and as a result are not covered by the Nebraska laws of section 4-108. The bill also acknowledges that the prenatal health care services accessible pursuant to SCHIP available for unborn infants, whose admissibility is independent of the parent’s admissibility and immigration status, are not encompassed in the limitations imposed by the statute laws of Nebraska section 4-108. The bill intends to facilitate state efforts to commence and expand child health care to the uninsured, and children from low income families. A child is defined as a person below the age of 19 years, and includes the duration from conception to child birth. The child is eligible irrespective of the mothers’ eligibility or immigration status. The bill intends to cover prenatal health care and other pregnancy associated services that are directly related to the health and welfare of the unborn child (“Legislative Bill 599,” 2011).
The bill acknowledges that prenatal health care offered to expectant women significantly reduces the chances of premature deliveries or cases of low birth weight which are mostly linked to a broad range of genetic disabilities and infant mortality. Prenatal health care services facilitate the detection of various adverse and even fatal disabilities, most of which can presently be effectively treated in utero. Prenatal health care offers ultimate financial cost savings to the government through reduced costs related to neonatal and probable long term health rehabilitation. It is also know to improve the general health and life of infants, resulting to healthy growth and development in infants (“Legislative Bill 599,” 2011).
The bill advocates for the establishment of a separate process allowed via SCHIP to cater for prenatal health care and other complications related to pregnancy directly linked to the health of the unborn infant which includes the following: catering for all professional fees related to labor and delivery; administration of pharmaceutical drugs and prescription of vitamin supplements; provision of outpatient health care; provision of lab testing when required; facilitation of ultrasounds, radiology, and other form of imaging that may be required; provision of services associated with conditions that have a potential risk to the maturity of the pregnancy and the possible treatment to complications that pose a risk to safe delivery of the pregnancy. It also encompasses other pregnancy associated services that maybe approved by the health department. An exception is provided for services such as optometry, dentistry and other medical conditions that affect the mother and are not directly related to the unborn child which are not covered by the bill (“Legislative Bill 599,” 2011).
A letter to the state senator
Dear senator Campbell,
RE: LEGISLATIVE BILL 599
I have had the opportunity to read the above proposed bill and I would like to make a personal contribution to the ongoing debate. I believe that the bill when enacted into law will go a long way to ensure that all infants and mothers irrespective of their immigrant status get access to quality and efficient prenatal health care services. I am personally proud of your efforts in advocating for the bill. This new law will ensure that no unborn child shall be denied access to prenatal health care basing on the immigrant status of the mother. With this few remarks I beg to support the bill.