Ohio Governor John Kasich was talking about infant mortality early on. He mentioned it in his first three State of the State speeches. Talk is cheap, but apparently he feels taking action is too expensive.
ACLU Ohio breaks it down in an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Whether bowing to political pressures or presidential aspirations, Kasich’s state budget proposal for 2015-2016 rolls back Medicaid coverage. Ohio House Bill 64 would decrease the amount of money a family can make and still enroll in Medicaid. For example, income for a family of three would now be capped at $27,724 a year. Pregnant women, one of the groups who stand to benefit most by having access to regular medical care, are put at serious risk by this plan.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cites the lack of prenatal care as a primary risk factor for having a premature delivery. Children who are born preterm frequently suffer from birth defects and lifelong health problems. The majority of babies who die before their first birthday are born prematurely.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has been sounding the alarm since February. In our release:
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “John Kasich keeps repeating he wants to reduce infant mortality, but his budget proposal will leave many low-income women without any health coverage at all. Babies born to mothers who received no prenatal care are three times more likely to be born at low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those whose mothers received prenatal care.”
In multiple budget committee hearings, State Rep. Nicki Antonio (D-Lakewood), Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), and Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) all demanded answers. On the House floor before the budget was voted on, Rep. Sykes spoke passionately:
Will members of the Ohio Senate do what the House refused to? Will Kasich lift a finger to change a part of the budget that his office wrote?
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