There are many things that make me proud of Ohio, however, our maternal and infant mortality rates are not one of them. In fact, as a nation, we are defying global trends. As all other developed nations see the number of maternal deaths decline, America’s numbers continue to rise. It is unbelievable, and it is unacceptable, and action must be taken.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet with Ohio representatives from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who are outstanding partners in the fight for healthy mothers, healthy babies, and healthy families. We discussed the implementation of the Prevent Maternal Deaths Act, which was signed into law last year, as well as my bill, the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act (QCMBA).
One of the first steps that must be taken, in my opinion, is to ensure that there are high standards of maternal and infant care, and that those standards are codified into law. Together with Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), we introduced the QCMBA to do just that. Medicaid covers over half of the births in the United States, and so it is important that we measure the quality of care mothers are receiving under the program. The legislation will also help doctors and nurse-midwives share best practices so that mothers and babies across the country get the healthy start they deserve.
I am confident that Congress will be able to come together in a bipartisan manner to take action on maternal and infant mortality because we all share the goal of making sure that every child can celebrate their first birthday, and that every mother is there to celebrate with them.
If you would like to learn more about the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act, or other efforts to support healthy mothers and infants, please call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015.