Republicans’ Health-Care Plans Could Put Premature Babies And Other Vulnerable Children At Risk


By: S.E. Smith

With Senate Republicans threatening to push their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to a vote before Independence Day, the future of U.S. health care is uncertain. Although the Senate is being secretive about its version of the bill, the extensive proposed changes in the House’s version could roll back many gains from the last eight years of health-care policy, particularly when it comes to protecting the welfare of babies.

“What’s problematic in terms of pregnant women and kids in the AHCA is that it not only would phase out the expansion, it significantly cuts Medicaid beyond that, forcing states to potentially roll back some of the coverage they’ve had in place for decades,” Elisabeth Wright Burak, the senior program director at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families, told Rewire.

This effectively limits access to health-care services, as states may cut things like home health care, a variety of prescription drugs, surgical procedures, physical therapy, and a range of other needs. As Burak dryly commented, “States already have a lot of flexibility. This is flexibility on what to leave out.”

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