Victory for Mothers And Babies!

From the MAMA Campaign:

A Victory for Mothers and Babies!
Midwives and mothers, babies and families, are victors today! With the passage of the Senate health care reform bill in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday, March 21, and the signature of the President in the coming days, several provisions that will significantly benefit mothers and babies will now be the law of the land! These provisions will increase access to birth options for low-income women across the country, and will improve the quality of maternity care for all women in the years to come. The MAMA Campaign is proud to have had a role in improving conditions for midwives and mothers in this landmark legislation.

The following are now law:

  • MAMA Campaign’s “partial victory”: Senator Cantwell’s provision that will have the effect of requiring Medicaid reimbursement for licensed CPMs offering services in licensed birth centers
  • American Association of Birth Center’s provision that mandates Medicaid reimbursement of the birth center facility fee
  • Childbirth Connection’s provision requiring quality assessment and improvement measures specific to maternity care
  • American College of Nurse Midwives’ equitable reimbursement act for Certified Nurse Midwives
  • And: giving birth, having a cesarean section, or being the victim of domestic abuse will no longer be considered pre-existing conditions and used to deny insurance coverage to women!

What Happens Now With This Legislative Process?
Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Senate health care reform bill that contains the above provisions and the President will sign this bill into law in the coming days. The House also passed a companion reconciliation bill, popularly called a “side car” or “fix it”, to address the House’s concerns about the Senate bill. This companion bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. It is expected that debate will begin in the Senate on Tuesday, and that Republicans will introduce a number of amendments, with debate taking several days. The Senate will be considering this bill under the reconciliation process which requires a simple majority to pass, and Democrats appear confident that they have the votes to pass this bill in the Senate.

Thank You for Your Role in This Victory!
Thank you to each and every one of you who supported the MAMA Campaign and these provisions for women and families. Every letter that you wrote and every dollar that you gave made a difference! We look forward to working with you this year as the MAMA Campaign continues the effort to cover all CPM services in all settings in the Federal Medicaid program.

Moving Beyond Health Care Reform- MAMA Continues to Fight for CPMs
MAMA continues to be on the move for midwives and mothers in Washington, D.C! The MAMA Campaign Steering Committee met in Washington, D.C. two weeks ago, March 5th – 7th, to evaluate the campaign to date and to re-commit to working together to achieve our central goal: to amend the Social Security Act to require the reimbursement of all CPM services in the Federal Medicaid program. On March 5th, 8th & 9th, steering committee members met with 35 Congressional offices on behalf of midwives and mothers. It was clear in these visits that our policy gained significant support in 2009 in key offices and that this support can be leveraged as we move forward in 2010.

You will be hearing from us over the next weeks and months, asking for your input, your engagement and your support as MAMA continues to do our part to improve maternity care in the U.S. and to increase women’s access to Certified Professional Midwives.

Thank Your Legislators!
If your Senators and Congress Members voted for health care reform, including the provisions for women and families, please write to them to thank them. If your legislators voted against health care reform, please write to ask them to ensure in Federal legislation that women have access to Certified Professional Midwives, a high-quality, low-cost option. As always, your legislators need to hear from you on behalf of midwives and mothers!

Support Your MAMA
In celebration of the passage of our “partial victory” and in support of our on-going work to increase women’s access to Certified Professional Midwives, please consider donating to the MAMA Campaign today!

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact the campaign at

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