Jonathan Webb, MBA, MPH, CEO of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, issued the following statement in response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s release of legislative text for COVID-19 relief legislation that includes a provision to support state efforts to extend Medicaid coverage in the postpartum period.
“The COVID-19 relief bill that the House Energy & Commerce Committee will consider this week includes a critically important first step in extending Medicaid coverage for new moms from the current 60 days postpartum to 12 months postpartum. The policy will streamline state efforts to ensure that new moms have access to vital health care coverage and continuity of care in the postpartum period. This is especially critical as so many individuals are experiencing disruptions to their health care coverage due to the pandemic.
“State maternal mortality review committees across the country have identified Medicaid extension in the postpartum period as a foundational policy for addressing out nation’s maternal mortality crisis. If enacted, the postpartum Medicaid extension provision in the COVID-19 relief legislation will be a significant down payment on Congress’ continued efforts to end preventable maternal death and eliminate racial inequities in maternal health outcomes.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider the legislation on Thursday, Feb. 11 as part of Congressional efforts to pass budget reconciliation legislation to further address the COVID-19 pandemic.