On Monday, a black maternal health omnibus bill was introduced to address the racial disparities in maternal health. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and Congresswoman Alma Adams, who co-chair the Black Maternal Health Caucus, announced the bill via a virtual press conference with Senator Cory Booker.
For several years, the United States has had the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. Black moms are 3 to 4 times more likely to die due to childbirth than white women. It has been proven that Black women are more at risk for complications such as hypertension, preeclampsia, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and gestational diabetes than other races. When they do experience these risks, they become more seriously ill than white women.
The 12 bills in the package will “comprehensively address every dimension of the maternal health crisis in America”. It has been endorsed by 190 organizations and cosponsored by Democrats in the House and the Senate. A summary of the bills list that the package will:
- Make critical investments in social determinants of health that influence maternal health outcomes, like housing, transportation, and nutrition.
- Provide funding to community-based organizations that are working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity.
- Comprehensively study the unique maternal health risks facing pregnant and postpartum veterans and support VA maternity care coordination programs.
- Grow and diversify the perinatal workforce to ensure that every mom in America receives culturally congruent maternity care and support.
- Improve data collection processes and quality measures to better understand the causes of the maternal health crisis in the United States and inform solutions to address it.
- Support moms with maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
- Improve maternal health care and support for incarcerated moms.
- Invest in digital tools like telehealth to improve maternal health outcomes in underserved areas.
- Promote innovative payment models to incentivize high-quality maternity care and non-clinical perinatal support.
- Invest in federal programs to address the unique risks for and effects of COVID-19 during and after pregnancy and to advance respectful…