|Posted:||March 5, 2021 02:49 PM|
|From:||Representative Morgan Cephas|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Medicaid Expansion for Postpartum Care|
|Maternal mortality has been rising in the United States, placing our population as a disturbing outlier in a global trend to prevent maternal deaths. In the Commonwealth, we have seen an alarming increase in pregnancy-related deaths, with black women bearing a disproportionate burden at a rate more than double the statewide average.
Studies show that income inequality has contributed to persisting racial inequity in maternal death. Women in low-income households are faced with unfair constraints that limit their opportunities to essential health care. More than half of all maternal deaths are preventable, which is simply unacceptable.
In Pennsylvania, pregnancy-related Medicaid eligibility ends 60 days postpartum. This leaves many of the most vulnerable women at greater risk for losing access to lifesaving health care during a critical time. By extending pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage to a full year, access to care can be improved, and the number of preventable maternal deaths can be reduced. Several states have already taken such steps and I believe that Pennsylvanians should have the same protections.
I will be introducing legislation that would require the Secretary of the Department of Human Services to apply for a waiver that would extend Medicaid coverage for pregnancy-related and postpartum medical assistance for up to an additional ten months. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important and lifesaving legislation.
Introduced as HB1173