New Mom Sees Some Signs of Hope for Health Coverage – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

“…let’s talk about honoring our most important
responsibility as Iowans. That is, our duty as parents, and as shepherds of our
children’s future. You know, I’m proud of the fact, that working together,
we’ve made a long-term investment in the health and education of “all”
children… Together, we must continue this investment, and my budget will
reflect this.”

-Governor Chet Culver (D-IA),

Condition of the State Address
January 12, 2010

I recently returned from maternity leave and had no idea

what the state of children and familyjohnandme-1.jpg health coverage would be given the protracted
battle on health reform and the challenges facing state budgets. I was pleasantly surprised to see that
while there is still a lot of anxiety about current state budget woes and
health care reform, that many lawmakers, like Governor Culver, are vigorously
defending the improvements they’ve made for children’s coverage in recent

There is nothing like becoming a first-time parent to
make one appreciate the importance of good, affordable health coverage. As I spent my son’s first months of
life at the mercy of the health care system – in the hospital and in-and-out of
the pediatrician’s office – I realized how lucky we were to have good
coverage. I could rely on my
pediatricians to help me address any concerns and make sure my baby was
thriving and meeting those crucial milestones.

While the last four and a half months have been the most
wonderful and the most challenging of my life, they weren’t riddled with stress
and fear about how to pay for my baby’s delivery or any of his health care
needs. Instead, I was able to
focus on making sure my baby was fed, changed, treated for any medical needs
and, most importantly, loved and cherished.

After going through this extraordinary experience, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a new parent and have the added stress of being unable to pay for necessary medical care or being face with an insurance company that views pregnancy as a pre-existing condition.

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of President
Obama’s signing of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization and I can’t help but think of
all those babies born in the last year who were given a better chance at living
a healthy life due to this important legislation. I applaud Governor Culver and other state lawmakers who had
the courage and leadership to use CHIP and Medicaid funding to increase their
investments in families struggling to weather the current economic storm. It is
my sincere hope that national health reform will happen and will help to shore
up these important investments and propel the nation forward in meeting the
health care needs of its people.

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