McSally’s bipartisan bill supports improved healthcare outcomes for American mothers

The United States should be the global leader in maternal healthcare, U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) said on Sept. 26 in unveiling the bipartisan Maternal Outcomes Matter (MOM) Act of 2019.

“Roughly 700 American women die each year from pregnancy-related complications,” Sen. McSally said. “This is unacceptable — especially when the vast majority of these deaths are preventable.”

Sen. McSally sponsored S. 2586 with lead cosponsor U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) to reduce the number of maternal deaths and improve the quality of healthcare for American mothers during pregnancy and after childbirth.

If enacted, S. 2586 would establish grant programs within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support innovation in maternal healthcare and to train healthcare providers about how to avoid discrimination in providing such services, according to a summary of the bill provided by Sen. McSally’s office.

The bill also would hold HHS accountable for the grant programs by requiring the department to submit a report to Congress on outcomes and best practices, the summary says.

“My bill refocuses resources to provide better maternal health care after childbirth and ensures care is delivered equally, regardless of race,” said Sen. McSally.

Additionally, the competitive grants authorized under S. 2586 would be used for collaboration with state maternal mortality review committees to identify issues for the development and implementation of evidence-based practices toward improving maternal health outcomes and reducing preventable maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity, according to the bill’s text.

The legislation has been endorsed by Dr. Ted Anderson, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Stacey Stewart, president and CEO of the March of Dimes; Eleni Tsigas, CEO of the Preeclampsia Foundation; Jonathan Webb, CEO of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; and Dr. Brian Iriye, president of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

The measure has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.