February 22, 2021

This month, Congress has taken several steps to help improve maternal health and to address the significant disparities in maternal health outcomes in the U.S.

On Monday, February 8, the Black Maternal Health Caucus introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 (H.R. 959), a 12-bill package that builds on existing legislation and is intended to comprehensively address gaps and invest in evidence-based solutions to improve maternal health outcomes.

Aligning for Health is pleased to see further action on maternal health – a top priority of a number of our members and advisory board. Aligning for Health supports and encourages passage of key components of the “Momnibus” – including the Social Determinants for Moms Act (H.R. 943), the Kira Johnson Act, the Moms Matter Act (H.R. 909), the IMPACT to Save Moms Act (H.R. 950), and the Maternal Health Pandemic Response Act. These bills would make critical investments in social determinants that influence maternal health outcomes; provide funding to community-based organizations that are working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity; make investments in community-based programs to support moms with maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders; and promote innovative payment models to incentivize high-quality maternity care, among other provisions. These are critical actions that require comprehensive, coordinated solutions and we applaud the sponsors for introducing legislation that would make these critical investments.

Additionally, on Friday, February 12 the House Energy & Commerce Committee advanced a provision that would allow states to extend Medicaid coverage to postpartum individuals for up to 12 months for five years as part of its American Rescue Plan legislation. Providing comprehensive, stable coverage during the postpartum period will provide new mothers with needed access to the care they need. Aligning for Health supports full enactment of this provision.

Aligning for Health is an advocacy organization focused on addressing the barriers and challenges that limit our ability to improve health outcomes and wellbeing for all. As a coalition, we are focused on developing and promoting actionable policies to address such challenges and to create opportunities for cross-sector, coordinated solutions to address health and social needs and to improve health equity.