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Adams Urges Biden Administration, Congress to Include Maternal Health Equity in Final Reconciliation Bill

Oct 26, 2021
Press Release
Members are urging Leadership to include investments in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act and year-long postpartum Medicaid coverage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter addressed to President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Congresswomen Alma Adams (NC-12), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Robin Kelly (IL-02), and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (OH-03), along with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), are pushing to ensure that investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act are included in full in the final Build Back Better Act package. Members are also urging the leaders to build on the critical progress made through the American Rescue Plan Act by investing in the permanent expansion of year-long postpartum Medicaid coverage in every state. 

“Permanently expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage and advancing comprehensive investments in the Momnibus will uphold a principle that is fundamental to the Build Back Better Plan: that in America, every family has a right to thrive—a principle that begins with a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth. We must include these critical maternal health equity investments in the final Build Back Better reconciliation package.” the Members wrote. 

If passed, the Momnibus and postpartum Medicaid provisions in the Build Back Better package would be historic investments to save moms’ lives, end racial and ethnic maternal health disparities, and advance birth equity across the United States. The letter echoes previous outreach to Leadership by more than 160 Members of the House and Senate advocating for the inclusion of the Momnibus and yearlong postpartum Medicaid coverage in a reconciliation package. 

The United States has the highest rate of pregnancy-related mortality among high-income countries, and the only rate that is rising. Maternal mortality rates for Black and Native Americans are 2-4 times higher than rates for white Americans, and Hispanic and AAPI people also experience disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act includes 12 bills to build on postpartum Medicaid coverage expansion and comprehensively address the drivers of the maternal health crisis. The Momnibus makes critical investments in addressing social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, and improving data collection processes.

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. co-founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus in 2019 with her co-chair Rep. Lauren Underwood. Adams, Underwood, and then-Senator Kamala Harris led the introduction of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act in 2020; Senator Cory Booker joined Adams and Underwood to lead the reintroduction of the Momnibus in 2021.

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