Everyone is curious as to whether the MOMMA Act will become a law or not. It stands to bring a lot of good to expecting parents everywhere, that’s why many people want it to become a reality. The hard part is getting all of our representatives to realize this and bring awareness about it around the country. Here is a rundown of what the MOMMA Act is and how it can improve our health system for women and expectant mothers.
What is the MOMMA Act?
MOMMA stands for the Mother and Offspring Maternal Mortality Awareness Act. One of its main purposes is making the permitted time on Medicaid postpartum one year long, instead of the current sixty days. Currently, when women complete the sixty days permitted on Medicaid they go uninsured. The MOMMA act is also pushing to have better information and research concerning deaths that are linked to pregnancy or giving birth. At this moment, there is very little reporting going on. If better information was provided, it would help avoid deaths in the future. There are several other stipulations in the MOMMA act that will help reduce maternal death rates all over the United States.
Recently a hearing was held with several state representatives to discuss the details and benefits of the MOMMA Act. There were some representatives who were more in favor than others.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly from Illinois, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust and author of the MOMMA Act, released this statement regarding the hearing:
“I’m so glad that Chairman Burgess and Ranking Member Green are holding this hearing to address America’s disturbing and growing rate of mothers needlessly dying from pregnancy and childbirth. It’s outrageous that it’s more dangerous to have a baby today than it was 25 years ago. We should be ashamed of ourselves for letting this problem grow out of hand. All mommas deserve a chance to be mommas.”
What Prompted the MOMMA Act?
The medical community is constantly growing and improving to solve different health issues that were fatal in the past. It is a growing concern that the maternal mortality rate in the United States is worse than it was more than two decades ago. It almost seems that all of our research and resources have hindered our birthing mothers. How can this be?
We would have expected that with new technology, better procedures, and more information than ever before, maternal mortality would be at a new low. The current numbers are truly astounding and have prompted Congresswoman Kelly to push for a change.
The MOMMA act states that “International studies estimate the 2015 U.S. maternal mortality rate as 26.4 per 100,000 live births, which is almost twice the 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) estimation of 14 per 100,000 live births.”
This is a very high mortality rate considering that most of these women are treated at hospitals or other medical facilities. “For decades, the global rate of women dying from, during and after childbirth has been steadily declining. At the same time, the number of American mothers dying has been increasing,” said Congresswoman Kelly.
Another statistic that is quite disturbing is the ratio of deaths between races. African American infants have twice the chance of mortality compared to white infants. Also, an African American mother has a much higher chance of dying from pregnancy-related causes than a white woman. These things should be improved.
Your race shouldn’t change your chances of death after having a baby. There should be equal care and instruction for both white and African-American people, which is another thing the MOMMA act will address.
What Should The MOMMA Act Address?
Congresswoman Kelly believes that with this bill the postpartum mortality rate can be improved by giving higher quality care to expectant and new mothers. Here are a few main points from the MOMMA Act.
- Gives the ability for an assigned federal entity to receive data
At this moment, there is no federal agency that receives data on postpartum and new mothers’ deaths. The MOMMA act will change this. It requires the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to work with different parts of the country to collect accurate data. Having a reputable source collecting data will help improve hospitals and medical facilities in the future. How can you learn from a mistake when you don’t know you’ve made one?
- Increases access to healthcare to one year postpartum
Currently, the sixty days allotted by Medicaid is not always sufficient for proper care for new mothers. The new act will increase these sixty days to one year. Having a medical professional review a mother’s health postpartum for an entire year should greatly decrease mortality rates. Doctors will be able to spot any infections or issues much earlier on than they normally would.
- Ensures that emergency obstetric procedures are followed
As per general treatment in hospitals, the care given is for the new infant. Often times, the mother is overlooked and does not receive adequate care and supervision postpartum. The MOMMA Act will make sure that the care for the mother is on top of every hospital’s list, as well as their infant’s care. Families shouldn’t lose their mother shortly after adding a new member.
How Can You Help Make the MOMMA act into a law?
Congresswoman Kelly has already brought the bill to Congress. In the end, it will be up to a vote. If you’d like your state’s Congressional representative to vote favorably you can write a letter to try and convince them to. If you can get your friends and family to write a letter too, it could contribute greatly. Every letter helps as a show of support.
If we made the MOMMA act into a law it would change the lives of many families.
The efforts of Congresswoman Kelly have really driven this Act and have made it more of a possibility for it to become reality.
Let us know in the comments below how you feel about the MOMMA Act.