Cory Booker and Kamala Harris Intro Bill to Improve Medicaid for MOMMIES
U.S. maternal mortality rates increased by 26% between 2000 and 2014, with Black women three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA)on Tuesday introduced legislation meant to reverse the rising maternal mortality rates and close the disparities that continue to put mothers and children of color at risk. The Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services (MOMMIES) Act aims to enhance coverage for pregnant women covered by Medicaid -- which covers nearly half of all births in the U.S. -- by extending coverage for women from 60 days to a full year after childbirth. The bill would also increase access to primary care providers and women’s health providers, establish a maternity care home demonstration project, and expand access to doula care. “Maternal mortality and morbidity, especially among communities of color, is an urgent public health issue that demands a comprehensive, proactive approach,” Booker said. Harris added that “The United States is the only industrialized country in the world where the maternal mortality rate is increasing, and Black women in particular are three to four times as more likely to die from a pregnancy-related health complication. This is an unacceptable health crisis in America and we must address it.” The lawmakers were joined in introducing the bill by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY),Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). More here.