Sen. Shelby: 42% of Babies Born on Medicaid is Not a Good Thing

By Emily Robertson | February 18, 2022 | 1:39pm EST
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) (Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) -- When asked if it was a good thing that 42% of the babies born in America in 2020 were born on Medicaid, Sen. Richard Shelby (R- Ala.) said it is not a good thing and added that, “the less dependence you have on the government, all of us, the better off we are.”

At the Capitol on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Shelby, “According to the CDC, 42% of the babies born in America in 2020 were born on Medicaid. Do you think that’s a good thing?”

The senator said, “No, I don’t think that’s a good thing, but I think it’s realistic, you know, considering, a lot of changes in America. I think at times Medicaid helps them to be born healthy -- and they help, you know that, and that’s all good -- but the less dependenc you have on the government, all of us, the better off we are.”

Last week, the CDC released new data on births in 2020 listing the statistics of babies born on Medicaid, born to married and unmarried mothers, the race of the mothers, as well as other relevant information.

Women who gave birth were either on Medicaid or used private insurance as the main source of paying for the delivery. While births on private insurance increased from 50.2% the year before to 50.6%, the percentage of Medicaid births decreased from 42.1% to 42.0%.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The percentage of babies who were born to unmarried women overall in 2020 increased 1% from the year prior to 40.5%. 

The CDC also created tables that list the births of babies to unmarried mothers beginning in the 1940’s. The percentage at that time for all races was only 3.8% of unmarried women who gave birth. In 1999 it hit 33%.

“Authorized by Title XIX of the Social Security Act, Medicaid was signed into law in 1965 alongside Medicare. All states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have Medicaid programs designed to provide health coverage for low-income people,” the Medicaid.gov website says. “Although the Federal government establishes certain parameters for all states to follow, each state administers their Medicaid program differently, resulting in variations in Medicaid coverage across the country.”

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