The bill to restore prenatal care, LB 599, passed just a few minutes ago. Thank you to the 31 state senators who have stood by babies and voted to extend prenatal care to all low-income unborn children. They have recognized that providing prenatal care is the fiscally responsible choice and simply the right thing to do.
We turn our attention now to Governor Heineman and his threats to veto this bill. The governor continues to fail to recognize that prenatal care is the fiscally responsible choice for Nebraska. Restoring this care costs far less than providing emergency services or intensive care for newborns who struggle for life.
Prenatal care costs on average $775, yet a day in the NICU costs over $1,000. A stay in the NICU can easily cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Preventing a single NICU stay more than covers the state’s cost for prenatal care.
These children are U.S. Citizens and Nebraskans from their moment of birth and rather than spend a little money up front, our governor has shown he would rather see our youngest residents suffer. In a recent poll, two-thirds of Nebraskans supported prenatal care for all babies, regardless of the status of the mother. The Governor is out of touch with the majority of Nebraska voters on this issue.
We urge Governor Heineman to do the right thing, adhere to the will of the people, and join 31 State Senators in supporting prenatal care.