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Letter to the Editor

Father dismayed at discrimination in newborn health-care funding

Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2001

I have lived on the Kenai Peninsula for the past seven years. I'm a U.S. citizen since birth, a registered voter in Kenai, I drive school bus for a living and have a unique situation.

I married a lovely woman from South Africa, last May in Homer. We moved to Kenai late last summer, and my wife and I found out we were pregnant just two weeks ago. We plan to make the Kenai area our permanent residence, so we have done all that we can at this point to apply for citizenship for her in the United States and to make sure that she is a legal resident here. My wife has a U.S. social security number, is working part time in Kenai and is paying U.S. taxes already.

We have a somewhat unique problem. We do not have medical insurance to cover our pregnancy. I make a modest income as a school bus driver, so based on my income, we applied for assistance through Denali KidCare, a federally funded organization. We had our application rejected this week simply because Maryna is not a U.S. citizen.

I find this rejection discriminating against our child, who will be a U.S. citizen, against me, the father, as a U.S. citizen, against men/fathers of U.S. citizenship married to women who are not U.S. citizens yet and are pregnant. And I find the federal funding somewhat misleading as it refers to "kid" care, not health care of the mother or the father, but for the child. Something seems seriously wrong here.

Mark Conway

Kenai

HEAD:Father dismayed at discrimination in newborn health-care funding

I have lived on the Kenai Peninsula for the past seven years. I'm a U.S. citizen since birth, a registered voter in Kenai, I drive school bus for a living and have a unique situation.

I married a lovely woman from South Africa, last May in Homer. We moved to Kenai late last summer, and my wife and I found out we were pregnant just two weeks ago. We plan to make the Kenai area our permanent residence, so we have done all that we can at this point to apply for citizenship for her in the United States and to make sure that she is a legal resident here. My wife has a U.S. social security number, is working part time in Kenai and is paying U.S. taxes already.

We have a somewhat unique problem. We do not have medical insurance to cover our pregnancy. I make a modest income as a school bus driver, so based on my income, we applied for assistance through Denali KidCare, a federally funded organization. We had our application rejected this week simply because Maryna is not a U.S. citizen.

I find this rejection discriminating against our child, who will be a U.S. citizen, against me, the father, as a U.S. citizen, against men/fathers of U.S. citizenship married to women who are not U.S. citizens yet and are pregnant. And I find the federal funding somewhat misleading as it refers to "kid" care, not health care of the mother or the father, but for the child. Something seems seriously wrong here.

Mark Conway

Kenai



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