May 1993

Improving Health Care Provision to Neonates in the United States

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(5):516. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160290022008

The last 2 years have failed dismally to improve health care provision to neonates in the United States. With the recession in full force and thousands of workers' jobs terminated by the relocation of plants, the reorganization of companies, and bankruptcies, many working families have lost their health care benefits in addition to their jobs and paychecks. Access to health care for pregnant women and their babies has become increasingly difficult for this group of people, despite the efforts of some states to lower the requirements for Medicaid eligibility. One study states: "Traditionally, most states have done little outreach, often devoting more attention to keeping persons out of the program than to bringing eligible ones in."1 The cumbersome application process may preclude the entry of women into prenatal care in the crucial first trimester of pregnancy. It is also likely to deter the working poor, those with small children,

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