Letters to the Editor

Prenatal care can't be cut

Last week, the Children’s Alliance held a press conference in Olympia with kids dressed up as roads. Sound absurd? Indeed it is. In fact, I cannot think of anything more absurd than a state Legislature that is willing to raise revenue to fund roads but not willing to raise revenue to fund children’s health and prenatal care.

The state Senate’s proposed budget eliminates prenatal care for immigrant women and pushes over 68,000 off health insurance. Prenatal care improves birth outcomes (for children who are born U.S. citizens, I might add) and reduces costs. Any proposal to eliminate this cost-effective kind of preventive care is short-sighted and misguided.

It is time to raise new revenue to stop cuts to services for our most vulnerable residents. I would gladly pay higher taxes to keep kids out of the emergency rooms and to avoid an infant having to spend the first months of his/her life in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Shelley Curtis


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