Congress Making End of Year Push to Address Maternal Health Crisis
By Consumers for Quality Care, on December 6, 2022
There is a new push in the final weeks of the 117th Congress to address America’s maternal health crisis in communities of color, according to The Hill.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the U.S. has the highest death rate from pregnancy-related complications as well as maternal deaths within 12 months after delivering a baby among developed nations. These figures are even more drastic among communities of color.
Since 2019, the Black Maternal Health Caucus has been a leading force in combating the maternal health crisis, especially among women of color. Since then, the Caucus has proposed twelve specific policies to address the crisis. Introduced by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL), the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act would increase funding for community-based organizations, recognize and provide education to address these racial disparities, and diversify the perinatal workforce.
“We have incredible momentum….and we’ve been working with our Senate colleagues to find an avenue for a vehicle for the Momnibus to get enacted. And I feel very optimistic at this point in time,” said Congresswoman Underwood.
In addition to Congresswoman Underwood’s legislation, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently introduced a bipartisan bill of his own, the Healthy Moms and Babies Act. Important provisions in this bill provide “whole-person” care, modernizing maternal health care in rural parts of the country, and improving the understanding of the social determinants of health in pregnant and postpartum women.
CQC urges lawmakers to take action to combat maternal mortality rates, particularly among communities of color, and urges Congress to deliver on maternal health for all mothers in the United States.