At MMC, we never took a hard line for the Health Care reform bill. It was obvious from the start that the final vote would follow party lines, and we had specific issues we wanted the legislature to keep in mind. Here's a great summary from AABC (American Assoc of Birth Centers) about how those specific issues: Protection of birth centers in our federal system, and protection for women in federal, private and state systems.
From Jill Alliman at AABC...
In a vote late last night the House passed the Senate Health Care Reform bill. This bill guarantees Medicaid payment (from the Federal government to the states) for the birth center facility fee in the states (and jurisdictions) where birth centers are licensed.
This bill includes major provisions for not only birth centers but women's health. These provisions include things such as:
- 100% reimbursement of CNM services in Medicare Part B;
- Separate payments to birth attendants "as recognized under state law as determined appropriate by the Secretary";
- C-sections, giving birth and domestic violence can no longer be considered pre-existing conditions and used to deny insurance coverage;
- Guaranteed coverage for pregnancy;
- Workplace protection for nursing women;
- Guaranteed insurance coverage of mammograms for women;
- Screening for postpartum depression;
- A range of other preventative services such as screening for diabetes and heart disease.
Please follow-up with your legislators. Here's how...
It is important that we thank our legislators for supporting Medicaid reimbursement of the birth center facility fee in the Health Care Reform bill. Send a thank you note and let them know what a difference this will make for childbearing families in their districts and across the nation. (For contact info and more: http://www.house.gov/)
Thank you for making a difference in our legislative efforts! Because of your support we are ensuring that birth centers will be able to provide access to quality maternity care for childbearing families.