State lawmakers are being urged to restore Medicaid funding to provide prenatal services to the poor.
A variety of Nebraska groups have joined in the effort to restore the funding. The coalition estimates that 1,600 pregnant women in 2010 failed to receive prenatal care due to the budget cuts.
Dr. Amanda McKinney, an OB/GYN from Beatrice, says the state needs to act.
“This should be an embarrassment to us; that we let the least of these go without basic care that would protect their own health as well as that of their babies,” McKinney tells reporters gathered at a Capitol news conference.
Members of the coalition include Building Bright Futures, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska, March of Dimes, Nebraska Appleseed, Nebraska Catholic Conference, Academy of Pediatrics, Nebraska Hospital Association, Nebraska Right to Life and Voices for Children in Nebraska among others.
Dr. Kristine McVea, a pediatrician from Omaha, says such care is vital during pregnancy and not just for the mother.
“As a pediatrician, I can assure you this is about caring for Nebraska’s children,” according to McVea. “It is time for the governor and the legislature to act and to protect the lives of the most vulnerable Nebraska citizens.”
The coalition backs LB 599, sponsored by Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, which would restore funding.
AUDIO: News conference at Capitol on prenatal care [20 min]