Say NO to HB 1962
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HB 1962 requires any pregnant person or parent of a child under age 19 who makes an application to receive benefits from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to take parenting education classes prior to receiving benefits (Legislator Tracker, 2017). This bill would ignore the fact that it is unjust to deny healthcare to families in need when applying for assistance due to incomplete parenting education classes.
Alterations to this bill need to be made in order for it to benefit those seeking assistance. Not only do we need to advocate for the parents, but most importantly advocate for the children who need medical assistance. Although parenting classes can be a positive contribution to society, research found that the majority of impoverished parents do not neglect their children (Slack, 2004).
To be consistent with the vision of Oklahoma’s Health Care Authority “is for Oklahomans to be healthy and to have access to quality healthcare services regardless of their ability to pay” (OHCA - Data and Reports, Fast Facts, 2017). There were 25,494 women from the age of 19 to 25 that are enrolled with Oklahoma Health Care Authority in 2016. There are 115,637 children 18 and under enrolled in Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA - Data and Reports, Fast Facts, 2017). These calculations are increasing yearly.
Although parenting classes can be a great idea, to deny parents assistance until they complete classes, would put an abundant amount of women and children without the help they need. The stipulations to receiving health care benefits because of HB: 1962 will negatively impact the children.
This bill should not be supported.
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