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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 16, 2020 03:33 PM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams and Sen. Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expanding Medicaid Coverage for New Mothers
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to expand Medicaid coverage for new mothers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States is the only industrialized nation with a rising maternal mortality rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 700 women die from pregnancy complications each year. Sixty percent of those deaths are preventable. Black women are three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as White women.
Current law provides postpartum medical assistance to new mothers for a total of 60 days following the birth of the child. Research shows that 33 percent of pregnancy-related deaths occur up to one year after the child has been born. Extending Medicaid coverage will ensure that more mothers have access to medical care and reduce maternal deaths.
At a time when we are all grappling with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must all work to protect the most vulnerable among us. Expanding postpartum medical assistance is a necessary step to protect Pennsylvania’s mothers and their children.
Please join us in sponsoring this important legislation. Questions and concerns may be addressed to Senator Williams' legislative director, Kyle Miller, at kyle.miller@pasenate.com or 717-787-5970; or to Senator Schwank's legislative director, Matthew Maniskas at matthew.maniskas@pasenate.com or 717-787-8925.

Introduced as SB1152