Sen. Marshall: Without a ‘Father Figure in the Family, It’ll Be Hard to Up-bring That Child’

Emily Robertson | February 18, 2022 | 4:10pm EST
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Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) (Getty Images)

( -- When asked if it was a good thing that 42% of the babies born in America in 2020 were born on Medicaid, Sen. Roger Marshall (R- Kans.), a medical doctor, said, “I think that’s a complex question, and I guess it is what it is.” He added that a “huge concern” is the absence of fathers in many families, which makes it very difficult to rear children.

At the Capitol on Thursday, asked Sen. Marshall, “According to the CDC, 42% of the babies born in America in 2020 were born on Medicaid. Is that a good thing?”

The senator said, “So, as an obstetrician, half the babies I delivered were on Medicaid so that they—they changed the bar to who was able to qualify for it, so that pregnant women could get on it easier and so the babies. I think that’s a complex question, and I guess it is what it is.” followed up with the question, “40.5% of the babies were born to unmarried mothers. Do you think that’s related to the high number born on Medicaid?”

“Well, again, going back to my practice,” Sen. Marshall continued. “Too often there was not a father figure even in the room the last several years. So, I think it’s a cultural issue where there’s just lots of single moms out there.”

“And it is absolutely a huge, huge concern of mine that if there’s not a father figure in the family, it’ll be hard to up-bring that child,” said the senator. “It’s a huge concern. I don’t think it’s related to Medicaid, I don’t think that’s the cause and effect.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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%.

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 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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