Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler supported a bill to improve maternal health that was passed on Tuesday by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019 is a bipartisan bill that was co-sponsored by Herrera Beutler that will take steps to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity by improving health services for women in Southwest Washington and across the U.S.
The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is among the highest in developed nations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 700 women die from pregnancy-related complications each year.
“It’s encouraging that Congress is continuing to tackle the maternal mortality crisis that has been plaguing our country for far too long,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement. “The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act is a step in the right direction and will build upon my Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, which was signed into law in 2018. I’m going to continue advocating for solutions that will help improve the health and wellbeing of moms and babies in Southwest Washington and across the nation.”
The bill plans to improve health services for women living in rural areas by expanding telehealth grants to include maternal health providers and by improving their training. The improved training is hoped to improve birth outcomes and save lives during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
A grant program to establish rural obstetric networks aimed at improving birth outcomes will also be created by the legislation. The grant is intended to reduce maternal mortality rates among Native American and Alaskan Inuit populations.