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Expansion of Medicaid for One Year Postpartum Women Heads to Carney

The House and Senate have passed House Bill 234 unanimously, which was surprising to me. Republicans tend to oppose providing healthcare to women. This bill, introduced by Represenative Melissa Minor-Brown, expands Medicaid coverage to women who have given birth for up to a year after the pregnancy for postpartum issues. Currently, Federal Medicaid regulations only cover women for postpartum health issues for 60 days after birth.

House Bill 234  SponsorsYes Votes No Votes
Minor-Brown, Baumbach, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Longhurst, S.Moore, Morrison, K.Williams, Wilson-Anton, M.SmithHouse Passed 39-0-2. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Friel Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende YearickAbsent: Briggs King Mitchell
Pinkney, Townsend, S.McBrideSenate Passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson
Current Status —Sent to the Governor

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine finds high rates of maternal mortality (death in the year after giving birth) in Delaware, indicating a serious problem that we can help to address by expanding Medicaid coverage.

Usha Ranji, Ivette Gomez and Alina Salganicoff wrote an article for the Kaiser Family Foundation Women’s Health Policy section on the need for this expansion.

“Postpartum care encompasses a range of important health needs, including recovery from childbirth, follow up on pregnancy complications, management of chronic health conditions, access to family planning, and addressing mental health conditions. While postpartum care has traditionally centered around one clinical visit six to eight weeks after delivery, there has been a paradigm shift to emphasize that postpartum care is an ongoing process that typically requires multiple visits and follow up care that may last a year or even longer. This is particularly important for those who experience pregnancy complications or have chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes.”

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