Act Proposed To Improve Maternal Health For Black Mothers


Democratic lawmakers introduce legislation to improve maternal health, particularly for black mothers


Two Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation that would provide sweeping changes to Medicaid, which covers nearly half of all births in America, in order to improve maternal health outcomes and lower mortality rates among new mothers, particularly African-American women.

The legislation, which the lawmakers touted as one of the most far-reaching proposals ever introduced in Congress to address maternal health, comes as politicians and health care groups look for ways to reduce the maternal mortality rate among African-American women.  This is three or four times higher than it is for white women. 

The bill could find support in the Democrat-controlled House, but will find a harder path in the Republican-led Senate unless there’s a massive bipartisan groundswell of support.

Among other things, the MOMMIES Act would increase the Medicaid coverage window for new mothers from two months to a full year after they give birth.

The bill aims to specifically address the health disparity between African-American and white mothers by making sure all pregnant and postpartum women have full Medicaid coverage, rather than coverage that can be limited to pregnancy-related services.

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