PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - March 2, 2021 


Human rights advocates applaud Biden's policy to reunite immigrant children separated from parents; pivotal SCOTUS arguments today on Voting Rights Act.


2021Talks - March 2nd, 2021 


President Biden meets with Mexican President Lopez Obrador; DHS Secretary Mayorkas says separated immigrant families may be able to stay in U.S.; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces legislation for a wealth tax.

WA Bill Could Help Thousands of New Mothers Keep Health Coverage

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Women of color and low-income women are at higher risk of conditions such as anxiety and depression after giving birth. (Richelle/Adobe Stock)
Women of color and low-income women are at higher risk of conditions such as anxiety and depression after giving birth. (Richelle/Adobe Stock)
January 19, 2021

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Many women in Washington state are losing health care shortly after giving birth, a crucial time in a mother's life.

Senate Bill 5068 would extend postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to one year.

The same measure was a victim of the pandemic in 2020. It passed with nearly unanimous support in the House and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee because of budget concerns.

Sam Hatzenbeler, health policy associate for the Economic Opportunity Institute, said the bill would help address the maternal health crisis.

"Right now, about 10,000 women are falling through the cracks because of income or immigration restrictions," Hatzenbeler contended.

Washington state's Maternal Mortality Review Panel found 30% of all pregnancy-related maternal deaths occur 43 days to a year after birth. About 700 women in the U.S. die each year from pregnancy-related conditions.

The bill has a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health and Long Term Care on Wednesday.

Hatzenbeler noted conditions such as anxiety and depression are a concern for recent mothers, and rates are higher among women of color and low-income women.

She pointed out SB 5068 would especially help Native American women.

"American Indian and Alaska Native women are six to seven times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as are white women," Hatzenbeler explained. "So this is a really, really crucial step that Washington legislators can take right now."

Hatzenbeler asserted the pandemic, which has hit people of color hard, is exacerbating these disparities.

She added extending health-care coverage would ensure Washington families are getting the best start possible.

"The best gift we can give to a child is to make sure that their mother is there to celebrate their first birthday and to raise them," Hatzenbeler concluded. "Too many women are being lost to preventable health conditions."

Disclosure: Economic Opportunity Institute contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA