Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tiny Threats

The Bush administration has announced a new policy that strips automatic Medicaid coverage to children born to undocumented workers. Babies of undocumented workers were previously insured if the mother was covered during birth. Under the new policy, parents must file applications for the child and provide documents to prove his or her citizenship. Doctors say the change will make it more difficult for infants to receive care in their first of year of life. Obtaining a birth certificate can take weeks, and many undocumented parents won’t file applications out of fear they’ll be reported to immigration authorities. Dr. Jay Berkelhamer, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said: “[The policy] punishes babies who, according to the Constitution, are citizens because they were born here.”

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