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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Denying Medicaid To Newborns Does Not Sit Well With Congressman Green

December 7, 2006
Press Release
Washington, D.C.-Congressman Gene Green (D-Texas) and other members of Congress from Texas, today sent a letter to Leslie V. Norwalk, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stating his sincere disappointment of CMSs regulation that ends a long standing policy of providing automatic Medicaid coverage to newborn babies born to mothers on Medicaid.
CMS, without any change in the law, has instructed states to stop providing automatic coverage to babies born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.  CMS has declared that the baby cannot be covered by Medicaid until citizenship documentation is filed, even though these children are born in U.S. hospitals.  This process can take weeks to months depending on the state the baby is born in.
Im very disappointed with CMS, said Congressman Gene Green.  Unfortunately CMS has adopted the tone this Administration has set on immigration and has gravely misinterpreted Congressional intent in setting these regulations.  These regulations are down right discriminatory, and have been put in place simply to deny much needed healthcare to the citizen children of our immigrant population.
Currently, federal Medicaid law under Sec. 1902 (e)(4) requires states to provide one year of automatic Medicaid eligibility to babies whose mothers are sufficiently poor that the babys birth was covered by Medicaid.  Additionally, in recognition of the rights granted to infants born in this county by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, the statute does not distinguish among infants born to citizens, legal immigrants or undocumented immigrants.
We have the 14th Amendment, which states that all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside, continued Congressman Green.  This Administration and its party have embarked on a trail of hate towards immigrants, a route that can quickly lead us into the realm of denying citizenship to American born babies-a path we desperately need to avoid.