Our country’s maternal health crisis is an active policy choice – one that enables entirely preventable deaths of our nation’s mamas, birthing people, and infants. Lawmakers need to include measures tackling maternal health disparities in the upcoming reconciliation package. Earlier this week, HealthConnect One joined 200+ groups and organizations pressing congress to make maternal health aid permanent in a letter to congressional leaders.
The letter provides specific recommendations that will ensure coverage for biting people, build out maternal health services that center racial equity, and result in investment in community-based efforts. The recommendations are as follows:
- Congress should close the Medicaid coverage gap, guaranteeing people in all states have access to affordable coverage and to the full range of health care benefits, including necessary and preventive health care services. Closing the coverage gap is critical not only for better maternal health but also to achieve broader health equity.
- Congress should advance the policies included in the Momnibus, making needed investments in maternal care. The provisions address deep inequities for pregnant people of color; specifically their access to mental health services, a culturally competent perinatal workforce, and prevention services.
- Congress should prioritize investments that direct much-needed resources to community-based partners that are working on the front lines to address the racial inequities of maternal health through culturally congruent, place-based caregiving.
Community-led efforts in collaboration with adequate funding and appropriate legislation will reverse the rates of maternal and infant mortality for Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. Alongside other organizations, we urge Congress to include these critical provisions in the next legislative package, a move that will advance reproductive justice and improve health equity for birthing families across America..