Advocates Laud Virginia-Style Maternal Health Care in Biden Plan
Monday, November 29, 2021
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia has led the nation in expanding health care for pregnant women and children, and now health advocates there are urging the U.S. Senate to pass the Build Back Better Act to bring similar coverage to other states.
Chloe Edwards, policy analyst at Voices for Virginia's Children, pointed out the Commonwealth provides 12-month postpartum coverage for new moms and recently expanded coverage to include non-documented women.
She noted Build Back Better also would provide a year of postpartum coverage by improving Medicaid. She thinks it could tackle what she calls a maternal health crisis disproportionately impacting African American women.
"We know that Black women in Virginia are more likely to die during childbirth," Edwards emphasized. "So by setting new standards that relate to postpartum and Medicaid, and longstanding policy recommendations advocates have been really pushing, we know improves the maternal and infant mortality disparity."
The U.S. House already has passed the reconciliation bill, which also would permanently fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Opponents of the $2 trillion bill say it costs too much, and the Senate may strip out even more provisions than the House did, but health-care promoters say the Act would provide essential benefits to reverse disparities in coverage for low-income children.
Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families, co-authored a new brief, which revealed one in 10 children had a gap in coverage over the course of 12 months during the early Trump years.
"And these gaps in coverage were more common in Latino children and Black children," Alker reported. "And 50% of children who had a gap in coverage did not see a doctor for the entire year that we looked at."
Latino kids experienced a 14% gap and Black children 12%, while white children had about a 7% gap.
Children in Virginia qualify for Medicaid or the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) program, if they are in a family of three earning about $45,000 a year or less.
get more stories like this via email
This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …
Health and Wellness
Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…
The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …
Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…
Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …
Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …
Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…
Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …