Senate Leads Bipartisan Budget Push to Help Save the Lives of Premature Babies
New York State Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon today led a bipartisan push for a key budget measure that would help save the lives of premature infants. Senator Hannon, Assembly member Michaelle C. Solages and other legislators were joined by doctors and advocates to call for the enacted state budget to include Medicaid coverage for donor breast milk so that this screened and safe “medicine” can be provided to infants born at very low birth weights.
Boriana Parvez, M.D., said, “Donor milk is a precious gift of life to the tiniest and most fragile newborn babies. It is the safest and the most natural way to nourish them when their mother’s milk is in insufficient quantity. We often say that having a preemie in the NICU is like being on a roller coaster ride but without the thrill. Having to worry about the additional cost of donor milk only further hinders the mothers of preemies’ efforts to care for their tiny babies and produce milk. As a physician caring for sick premature infants, I feel that donor milk should be covered by insurance and I stand behind our politicians who are trying to make it a reality.” Shetal Shah, M.D., FAAP, said, “Offering donor breast milk to New York State’s tiniest babies through Medicaid reduces a significant health disparity.”
Boriana Parvez, M.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics
Shetal I. Shah, M.D., professor of pediatrics