Just how far the state should reach to make absent fathers pay for the cost of having their child is a matter of discussion for the Medicaid Reform Commission. State law requires that paternity be established to enforce child support, but should it be used to offset some of the cost Medicaid incurs in paying for the birth? Senator Jon Dolan (R-Lake St. Louis) says suspected fathers should submit DNA evidence so it can be compared to the DNA of the baby. Most commission members agree, saying that once paternity is confirmed, that man should be held responsible for helping offset the maternity expense, which generally costs Medicaid $4-to-5,000. Representative Yaphett El-Amin (D-St. Louis) isn’t so sure she agrees, and tells fellow Commission members they should concentrate on more than just getting a paycheck from the father. Commission members don’t expect to save much through such paternity payments, but say it could help ease budget constraints.
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