In the oft-quoted words of Vice President Biden, "Show me your budget, and I will tell you what you value." And that's never been more true than with Indiana Republican legislators, who recently tried to push through a backdoor plan to cut "$40 million through 2020 by limiting the number of low income women covered for prenatal care under Medicaid."
The Republican proposal is not the result of declining need, as Indiana "still ranks near the bottom nationally in first trimester prenatal care and high in the number of preterm births, babies with low birth weights and infant mortality." And "research that shows reducing funding for pregnant women will lead to poorer care for mothers and their babies, more spending on health problems for the children later in life and higher infant mortality and low birth weights."
Nor did the GOP plan get any public hearing; its chief supporter urged legislators to insert the cuts secretly, behind closed doors in a House-Senate conference committee. And the Republican Chairman of the House Public Health Committee noted that "there had been no discussion before this week about cutting Medicaid benefits for pregnant women."