A Sad State Of Affairs
This piece in the New York Times reminded me once again of the terrible poverty in the deep South. It seems that after many years of declining infant mortality rates, infant deaths are again on the upswing. The deep cuts in Medicaid would seem to be the culprit. I know, that's pure conjecture, but when the cuts are so deep there has to be some effect.
The costs of Medicaid are rising sharply.
When Haley Barbour took over the Governorship of Mississippi in 2004 he promised no new taxes and cuts in Medicaid.
In 2004, Gov. Haley Barbour came to office promising not to raise taxes and to cut Medicaid. Face-to-face meetings were required for annual re-enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP,the children’s health insurance program; locations and hours for enrollment changed, and documentation requirements became more stringent.
As a result, the number of non-elderly people, mainly children, covered by the Medicaid and CHIP programs declined by 54,000 in the 2005 and 2006 fiscal years. According to the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program in Jackson, some eligible pregnant women were deterred by the new procedures from enrolling.
Look at a few of the numbers;
51 per cent of all children in the state are on Medicaid.
451,000 low income children are enrolled.
102,000 children in Mississippi are ininsured. 75 percent of these children are eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled.
Mississippi loses $3.15 in matching federal funds for every $1 it cuts in state money.
There have also been rises in the rates in Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, and South Carolina. All of these state's legislatures as well as their congressional delegations are controlled by Republicans. It has become a sad state of affairs when American children are dying from lack of health care.
It would seem that the right-wing, right-to-life movement is more interested in fetuses than it is in children.
I think Barney Frank got it right when he said that for Republicans life begins at conception and ends at birth.