Letter: Bill saves moms, money | Letters

As a physician and mom of three, I want to express my thanks to state Sen. Anna Wishart for introducing LB929. LB929 should be supported by every state senator. This bill extends Medicaid postpartum care for new moms from two to 12 months. Organizations including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine all support extending postpartum coverage.

As a pediatrician in Nebraska for over 20 years, I know that infants who qualify for Medicaid are already guaranteed coverage for the first year of life. Mother-baby dyads should have aligned coverage. Also, pregnancy-related health issues such as cardiovascular complications and postpartum depression may not surface until weeks or even months after delivery. Lack of health insurance coverage creates even more complications, such as delays in seeking care and appropriate follow-up, therefore putting both the mom’s and baby’s health and well-being at risk.

Health problems during pregnancy and postpartum impose a significant economic burden on families, communities and the health system. Extending Medicaid coverage could potentially mitigate part of this burden by ensuring moms can prevent or treat health issues before becoming progressively severe.

LB929 is long overdue in Nebraska. I urge the Legislature to pass this very important bill to help ensure the health of all Nebraskans.