10/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Who Will Pay for Bristol and Levi's Baby?

The other day I heard a talking head on the TV saying that Bristol Palin's pregnancy was more acceptable to conservatives because, "the government wouldn't be paying for the baby." Oh really? Let's talk health insurance for a moment. Bristol is covered by her parents' insurance. When Bristol turns 18, she will have to be enrolled in college as a full time student to maintain healthcare coverage on her parents' plan. Otherwise, she will require a full time job with benefits, or a marriage certificate to a man with a full time job that includes medical benefits. Mr. Levi Johnston looks like a fine, enterprising American young man. However, without a college degree (does he have a high school degree?) what are the chances of him finding a job that includes medical benefits in America, circa 2008?

While Bristol's labor and delivery will be covered by her parents' medical plan (assuming she is under 18 when she delivers) her newborn child will not. According to New York Life, One of the biggest issues grandparents face is finding health insurance for their grandchildren. In most states, unless working grandparents are legal custodians they can't add their grandchildren to their employer's benefits plan or qualify for other employer-sponsored benefits, such as child care leave. If they are retired, health insurance cost is usually prohibitive. Two options are Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program(CHIP), which are available in every state.

Fortunately, the infant will be eligible for coverage under Alaska's state funded program called Denali KidCare. Thank God for government funded programs, eh? And, if you're already knitting a gift for the baby, make sure you include "bootiestraps" on those mukluks.

(Thanks to my pal Maureen for bringing this topic to my attention.)