U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Lisa Murkowski’s Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Access to Maternity Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Passes Senate
The legislation will help ensure women have better access to timely, high quality maternity care by identifying provider shortage areas in rural and underserved communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are praising the Senate passage of their bipartisan Improving Access to Maternity Care Act that will help reduce maternity care shortages by identifying areas lacking maternal health professionals to help incentivize providers to practice in these underserved, often rural areas. The legislation has already passed the House and now heads to the President to be signed into law.
“Too many communities around Wisconsin are still facing a shortage of qualified, maternity care professionals and services. I’ve heard from other expecting mothers across the state who can’t find a maternity care provider in their community and are forced to drive over an hour for their appointments – often putting their lives and their babies’ lives at risk,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan legislation will identify shortages to better target resources so providers can deliver the care that expecting mothers in Wisconsin so desperately need – no matter where they live. I’m proud to have led this bipartisan effort with Senator Murkowski to ensure that healthier pregnancies lead to healthier babies, and I’m looking forward to the President signing this bill into law.”
The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act directs the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to identify maternity care shortage areas that may be used by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). The NHSC is critical to filling workforce shortages in underserved areas, with over 9,200 Corps clinicians delivering services to about 9.7 million people across the US. Currently, ob-gyns are recognized under the primary care shortage designation, which fails to adequately address shortages in maternity care.
HRSA already collects data on shortages of primary care, dental care and mental health care providers, and this reform will require HRSA to start collecting data on shortages of maternity care providers as well, to help better target resources where they are needed most. By identifying maternity care needs within existing shortage areas, the United States can begin to fill the gap in maternity care access. This legislation is critical to facilitating a better understanding of where the serious maternity care shortages are located and to subsequently direct health care providers to those communities.
The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act is endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the March of Dimes, and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).
Learn more about the bipartisan Improving Access to Maternity Care Act here.
Text of the legislation is available here.
Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation to Extend Community Health Center FundingJan 17th, 2019 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
"We need to provide funding for our community health centers so they can continue providing care to thousands of Wisconsinites."
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Re-Introduces Expanded Legislation to Slow the Revolving Door Between Wall Street, Corporate America and WashingtonJan 16th, 2019 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
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Senate Passes Baldwin Supported Bill to Ensure Federal Workers Affected by Shutdowns Receive Retroactive PayJan 11th, 2019 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Currently, 420,000 federal workers are being forced to work without pay, and another 380,000 federal workers were sent home over the holidays without pay