Midwives are making their voices heard on Capitol Hill for women and newborns, as proposals have begun circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives making dramatic changes in Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid programs important to women?s health. In this time of rapid action on Capitol Hill, ACNM is continuing to urge members to contact Congress now in support of the top health priorities for midwifery.
House GOP leadership sent legislators home for President?s Day recess with talking points outlining plans to repeal and replace ACA. Draft bill language dated Feb. 10 included several provisions deeply concerning to midwives, including language allowing states to decide maternity care coverage and other Essential Health Benefits that are now national standards. It also would significantly reduce subsidies available for health coverage, and substantially reduce Medicaid payments especially to those states that expanded Medicaid with ACA resources. An Avalere analysis circulated at the National Governors Association meeting late February said the draft plan would significantly reduce the number of persons with health coverage in the U.S. Legislative action is not yet scheduled, but is anticipated to begin in March.
In a letter to congressional leaders, ACNM President Lisa Kane Low, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, stated, ?We want you to know that midwives will stand for improving access to quality care and coverage for women and newborns, for eliminating unnecessary barriers to midwifery in the health system, and for strengthening our health care workforce especially in underserved parts of our country.?