Neonatal Health-care Policy: Promise and Perils of Reform


Health-care reform could generate major new opportunities to strengthen the central role of neonatology in improving child health in the United States. However, without considerable caution, such reform also could destabilize many of the policies that have facilitated neonatology's most important contributions. This article anticipates the policy issues of greatest consequence for neonatology, including the public's misperception of neonatology's costs and impact on outcomes, the danger of adult-focused cost-containment policies, the potential to improve health services for women, and the generational politics of health-care reform. Neonatologists could provide essential technical guidance and a coherent political voice in shaping the nature and scope of health-care reform.