Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director, Kentucky Youth Advocates
LOUISVILLE, KY – Access to quality health care and coverage postpartum is not only critical to the health and well-being of the new mother, but also that of their newborn. We applaud the House Health and Family Services Committee for recognizing that imperative today with passage of House Bill 174, co-sponsored by Representative McKenzie Cantrell and House Health and Family Services Committee Chair Kim Moser.
Postpartum is a vulnerable time for new mothers and their baby, and this is especially true for women on Medicaid, many of whom are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage just 60 days after the end of pregnancy. The reality is that half of maternal deaths are post-pregnancy and are overwhelmingly preventable. And in Kentucky, the rate of Black mothers dying within one year of giving birth is more than twice the rate for White mothers. HB 174 seeks to extend Medicaid eligibility for new mothers for up to 12 months postpartum so they can have continuous, uninterrupted access to health care.
We thank Representative Cantrell and Chair Moser for championing this measure and the House Health and Family Services Committee for supporting its passage today. We now call on the Kentucky House to support HB 174 and, as the state budget deliberations continue, to secure Medicaid funds to ensure new moms can access continuous, uninterrupted health care up to 12 months postpartum.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.
About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at www.kyyouth.org.