Moms are dying. We need to act.
One thing is clear from USA TODAY’s investigation “Deadly deliveries”: We need enforceable care protocols.
At nearly all hospitals, people with symptoms of a heart attack are given the same tests, treatments and care. It’s a process that works but one we aren’t using in maternal care. That’s why I introduced the MOMMA Act to establish and enforce national emergency obstetric protocols. The bill also addresses a challenge highlighted in the investigation: a lack of quality data. We still lack a clear picture of exactly what’s happening because there is no standardized data reporting form. Additionally, my bill would establish a national review committee, a proven strategy to curb the rising number of deaths, and would expand health coverage to the entire postpartum period. It also fosters culturally competent care to address the shocking fact that black mothers are more likely to die than white mothers. We’re waiting for a Republican co-sponsor to step up and help pass this commonsense and lifesaving legislation.
Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust; Washington, D.C.