I know this will get discussed a lot in the coming year (and is waaay off topic of my usual posts), but this new law in New Jersey bugs me – lets look just from a “cost of health care perspective” (read the many other objections from all sides of the political spectrum in the article).
Do the math. NJ has approximately 115,000 births a year. In 2008 they will require two (2) HIV tests for every expectant mother (beginning of pregnancy and third trimester) – that’s 230,000 tests. I don’t know what an HIV test costs, but some big drug company is pretty happy right now.
Now you would ask, how many will find out about an infected newborn as a result of all this work? Well NJ has no (0) recorded cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in 2007 with two (2) recorded in 2006. Even at the high-point in 2005 with seven babies born infected, that is .00006% of babies born.
If they want to help out mothers and babies (which I am all for) why not fund free prenatal vitamins, counseling/classes, car seats or something 100% of moms/babies need?