WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter to President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Alma Adams (NC-12), Robin Kelly (IL-02), and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (OH-03) pushed to ensure that investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act are included in full in the final Build Back Better package. The group also urged the leaders to build on the critical progress made through the American Rescue Plan Act by investing in the permanent expansion of yearlong postpartum Medicaid coverage in every state. 

“Permanently expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage and advancing comprehensive investments in the Momnibus will uphold a principle that is fundamental to the Build Back Better Plan: that in America, every family has a right to thrive—a principle that begins with a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth. We must include these critical maternal health equity investments in the final Build Back Better reconciliation package,” they wrote. 

If passed, the Momnibus and postpartum Medicaid provisions in the Build Back Better package would be historic investments to save moms’ lives, end racial and ethnic maternal health disparities, and advance birth equity across the United States. The letter echoes previous outreach to Leadership by more than 160 Members of the House and Senate advocating for the inclusion of the Momnibus and yearlong postpartum Medicaid coverage in a reconciliation package. 

The United States has the highest rate of pregnancy-related mortality among high-income countries, and the only rate that is rising. Maternal mortality rates for Black and Native Americans are 2-4 times higher than rates for white Americans, and Hispanic and AAPI people also experience disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act includes 12 bills to build on postpartum Medicaid coverage expansion and comprehensively address the drivers of the maternal health crisis. The Momnibus makes critical investments in addressing social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, and improving data collection processes. 

Full text of the letter can be found here.