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Rep. Kelly Re-Introduces MOMMA’s Act to Address Maternal Health Crisis

May 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, today re-introduced the Mothers and Offspring Mortality & Morbidity Awareness Act, or MOMMA’s Act, to address the maternal health crisis. The bill was re-introduced with 25 original cosponsors.

“The maternal mortality crisis is complex; our policies to address it must be creative and targeted to solve the many factors contributing to this epidemic,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “We must address access to care, standardization of care and implicit bias. I am introducing the MOMMA’s Act to improve maternal health care and ensure that evidence-based mortality and morbidity practices are available to every expectant and new mother, regardless of where she receives her care or how she pays for it.”

This comprehensive bill tackles the growing epidemic of maternal mortality and severe morbidity in five ways. It will:

  • Standardize maternal mortality and morbidity data collection across states, and authorize a designated federal agency to aggregate that data;
  • Empower the CDC to provide technical guidance and publish best shared maternal mortality and morbidity prevention practices;
  • Authorize evidence-based national obstetric emergency protocol and best practices to save mothers’ lives;
  • Expand postpartum Medicaid coverage through one full year after giving birth;
  • Ensure improved access to culturally competent care training and workforce practices throughout the care delivery continuum.

"As the leader of one of the only Black woman-led Reproductive Justice organizations working in the federal policy space, the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC) applauds Congresswoman Kelly, along with Senator Durbin, for the reintroduction of the MOMMA’s Act,” said Dr. Joia Crear Perry, Founder & President, National Birth Equity Collaborative. “Our goal at NBEC is to promote birth equity, so that more Black mamas and babies can thrive. The ongoing Black maternal health crisis requires strong legislation from our Congressional leaders, and we applaud those who introduce legislation that addresses hundreds of years of systemic racism which is the root cause of the crisis. The MOMMA’s Act is a step in the right direction to achieve birth equity, so that our communities have the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of joy and justice."

“Our nation’s maternal mortality crisis calls for a multi-faceted approach to improve access to care, advance quality of care, and save lives. The Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness Act (MOMMA) Act will do just that by extending Medicaid coverage to 12 months after delivery, helping hospitals and clinicians implement clinically proven maternal health best practices, and providing support for perinatal quality collaboratives,” said J. Martin Tucker, MD, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). “With the House introduction of the MOMMA Act, we move closer to ensuring that pregnant patients receive comprehensive prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care through the critical 12 months after delivery. ACOG is proud to support this bill and thanks Representative Robin Kelly for her continued leadership in advancing policy solutions to save moms' lives.”

“The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is proud to endorse the MOMMA’s Act and urges Congress to pass this critical legislation this year,” said AMCHP Interim CEO Caroline Stampfel, MPH. “The MOMMA’s Act takes a comprehensive approach to improving maternal health and eliminating racial inequities in maternal health outcomes in the United States through strengthened health care coverage for pregnant and postpartum people, standardized data collection, and quality improvement in clinical care. State maternal mortality review committees across the country have identified Medicaid extension in the postpartum period as a foundational policy for addressing out nation’s maternal mortality crisis, and the MOMMA’s Act sets the gold standard for extending Medicaid coverage to 12 months postpartum. We’re grateful to Rep. Robin Kelly for her staunch leadership in maternal health policy and look forward to our continued partnership.”

“Studies estimate that more than half of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable, and approximately half of maternal injuries could be reduced or eliminated with better care and enhanced maternal mortality data,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO, March of Dimes. “Unfortunately, the current health care system fails to address the medical and social determinant factors that contribute to high maternal mortality rates compared to other high-income countries. That is why we have long supported the Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA) Act, sponsored by Rep. Robin Kelly, which would require all states to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to one year. In addition, this legislation includes other key provisions to enhance Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs), standardize data collection and reporting, improve access to culturally competent care, and incentivize doula support services. We thank Rep. Kelly for her continued leadership in reintroducing this important legislation to reverse our nation’s maternal mortality crisis.”

Robin Kelly

 

 

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