Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Birth Centers Lose Medicaid Funding in Texas

Please go to the website listed to sign a petition to once again fund Birth Centers in Texas.

www.birthcenters.org

Recently legislation has been passed ending the funding of Medicaid to Birth Centers in Texas. This is such a tragedy for many reasons.

1. This was certainly not motivated by a desire for fiscally responsible government. Birth Center births are far less expensive and also have much lower C-section rates.

2. Medicaid funding gives low income women the option for out of hospital births. Most midwives already do not accept Medicaid for home birth because the pay is so little.

3. Cutting off this funding could potentially put some Birth Centers out of business. Those that accept Medicaid are limited already because Medicaid does not pay as well as insurance.

4. It will force more women to either birth in Texas hospitals (which frankly are shameful in their treatment of women and their disgusting interventions).

5. It will hurt babies and women as those hospital births have higher C-section rates, NICU stays, interventions, and drugs.

I am grateful that when I lived in Texas I had the option of a wonderful Birth Center birth at Inanna Birth Center in Denton. I could not afford a home birth and was not willing to birth in the nearby Texas hospitals. The ones closest to me had C-section rates of 50%, induction rates around 95% and epidural rates close to 100%. Successful breastfeeding was rare, and women were still delivering in stirrups, with episitiomeys, continuous fetal monitoring, and IV were standard.

Please sign the petition to find Birth Centers again in Texas.

2 comments:

Adria said...

This issue could effect more than just lower income women. A letter from our local birthcenter said the following "Many birth centers depend on Medicaid payments to continue to operate, and this will severely impact their ability to remain open. In addition, private insurance companies often decide to follow CMS’s lead in setting policies. This could mean that reimbursement for birth centers could essentially disappear, making birth center care prohibitively expensive for most privately insured clients, as well."
I too am grateful to have had access to a birthcenter and just wish it was closer to home.

Sarah C said...

That is a great point that I was not aware of. Thanks so much Adria-

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