Opponents of Medicaid expansion typically point out that providing benefits to the uninsured is costly and would most likely result in a financial drain on state budgets. While it is true that prenatal care costs the government approximately one thousand dollars per infant, a California study concluded that a very low weight baby will cost over fifty times that amount and every dollar spent on prenatal care returns a savings of three dollars during the first year of life (Schmitt, Sneed, & Phibbs 2006). Even small weight gains of a few ounces can lead to significant cost savings as an increase of two hundred and fifty grams can cut fifteen thousand dollars in first year medical expenses (Schmitt, Sneed, & Phibbs 2006). Other long term expenses tied to low birth weight include re-hospitalization, social services, special education and physical and cognitive therapy. In some cases, the expenses resulting from a premature birth can last a lifetime.
In addition to low birth weight, mothers who do not receive adequate prenatal care are at a higher r...
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...urden would be lower if the state had opted for Medicaid expansion (Dorn, 2014).
Medicaid insurance serves a critical function in providing for prenatal care which has been proven to facilitate the early identification of pregnancy complications, reduce infant mortality, and offer important education and information tools for pregnant mothers. Although the benefits are costly, the preventive services and interventions Medicaid offers have the potential to pay for themselves many times over by avoiding expensive emergency services and by reducing care delays. Cutting or reducing Medicaid services is a recipe for disaster as the healthcare needs of expectant mothers and their newborn children would be in jeopardy. Medicaid improves a child’s chance at a healthy start and increases the likely hood that they will develop into productive members of our society.
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