Sunday, January 16, 2022

Play

A new survey shows discrimination in medical settings affects quality of care; U.S. Supreme Court rejects vaccine and testing mandates for businesses; and New York moves toward electric school buses.

Play

U.S. House passes a new voting rights bill, setting up a Senate showdown; President Biden announces expanded COVID testing, and Jan. 6 Committee requests an interview with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Play

New website profiles missing and murdered Native Americans; more support for young, rural Minnesotans who've traded sex for food, shelter, drugs or alcohol; more communities step up to solve "period poverty;" and find your local gardener - Jan. 29 is National Seed Swap Day.

WA Bill Would Extend Health Coverage to One Year After Birth

Play

Monday, January 20, 2020   

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Legislation in Olympia would provide longer health care coverage for women after pregnancy.

Senate Bill 6128, scheduled for a hearing Monday, would extend postpartum Medicaid coverage to one year after a woman gives birth.

For many low-income women, coverage currently ends after about 60 days.

Sam Hatzenbeler, a health policy associate with the Economic Opportunity Institute, says about 5,000 Washington women per year lose coverage within three months of having a child.

"You may have just had major surgery -- a C-section," she points out. "You're trying to manage your stress, feed your baby and, if you're lucky, take a shower once a week.

"So losing your health insurance is the opposite of what you need. But it's more than just being terribly inconvenienced -- it's an issue of life and death."

There are more than 700 pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. each year, with a third happening postpartum. Hatzenbeler notes these tragedies hit communities of color hardest.

American Indian and Alaska Native women in Washington are six to seven times more likely to die than white women. At least nine states, including California, are considering extending postpartum coverage this year as well.

Dr. Laura Sienas, a maternal fetal medicine physician, says the time after birth is a period of vulnerability for women.

She says many women get access to health coverage for the first time during pregnancy and discover chronic medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Once the newborn arrives, women can have complications from delivery, such as heart disease or mental health disorders such as postpartum depression and substance use disorder.

"It's really important to remember that we don't want to leave these women hanging after 60 days," she stresses. "It's a stressful time with a new baby and to be able to give them access to care and those resources that they need would be something really important."

Sienas notes the United States is the only industrialized country where maternal mortality is on the rise.

More than 30 organizations are supporting the bill, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Indian Health Commission and Washington State Medical Association.

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


get more stories like this via email
Emissions from all buses, cars, and trucks make up 30% of New York City's carbon footprint. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

In her 2022 State of the State address, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul set new goals for electrifying the school bus fleets in the state. Clean-energy …


Social Issues

Finding and affording child care is no cakewalk for Oregon families right now. A new report details the pressures and some potential policy fixes…

Social Issues

Acknowledging the pandemic's toll on Kentucky students, teachers and families, Gov. Andy Beshear announced last night a state budget which would make …


Pennsylvania's Public Safety Answering Points process an estimated 14.5 million requests for emergency services every year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Mobile carriers are starting to decommission their 3G cellular networks this year, some as soon as next month. Pennsylvania officials are reminding …

Environment

One hundred years ago today, the Izaak Walton League of America was founded in Chicago, with a mission of local stewardship of wild places, citizen …

Arizona environmental and political leaders are pushing state legislators to pass measures that would move the state's power grid to renewable sources of energy. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)

Environment

An alliance of environmental groups and lawmakers has released an ambitious, wide-ranging set of goals for the 2022 Arizona Legislature. The …

Social Issues

During Wisconsin's pandemic elections, absentee ballot drop boxes offered a different route for people to cast their votes, but a new decision in …

Social Issues

The road to voting rights for Native Americans has been long, but advocates for indigenous people hope to build on the momentum they've seen in …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021