Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Priorities: Kids or Frozen Embryos?

In Missouri, about 100,000 parents, disabled, and elderly are being kicked off Medicaid. In Tennessee, they're looking to eliminate 300,000 people from the program and to reduce benefits for 400,000 more. Texas, where one of every five kids is uninsured, has already cut thousands from its rolls and is looking to do more. New Hampshire is looking to charge hundreds of dollars in Medicaid premiums to people who have no income at all. And Mississippi, goddam--a little bit of brinksmanship as the governor hinted he'd let the program go bust, followed by...cuts. Nationwide, the cost of insurance continues to skyrocket and more folks are uninsured.

In Washington? $10 Billion in Medicaid cuts. And $1 million in new spending for this little project:

Public Awareness Campaign on Embryo Adoption

The increasing success of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has resulted in a situation in which an infertile couple typically creates several embryos through in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
During IVF treatments, couples may produce many embryos in an attempt to conceive with several being cryopreserved (frozen) for future use. If a couple conceives without using all of the stored embryos, they may choose to have the remaining unused embryos donated for adoption allowing other infertile couples the experience of pregnancy and birth. Embryo adoption is a relatively new process in which individuals who have extra frozen embryos agree to release the embryos for transfer to the uterus of another woman, either known or anonymous to the donor(s) for the purpose of the recipient(s) attempting to bear a child and be that child's parent.
Covering a kid on Medicaid costs about $1300 a year. A million dollars could have covered more than 750 poor kids. But apparently, the federal government thinks it's more important to spend taxpayer money on finding a good home for rich people's frozen embryos than on healthcare for kids. Sure hope those embryos never grow up into kids who need a vaccination or asthma medicine...

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