Health Care Reform Will Improve Maternity Care

As the nation’s media remain thoroughly
transfixed by health care reform and battles over expanding health coverage,
containing costs, wild allegations about death panels and the like,
H.R. 3200, the House’s version of health care reform, currently ordered to be reported (amended) by voice vote, remains a solid piece of legislation.  

And I’m not referring to the fact that
with over 1,000 pages, it weighs in at over 13 pounds. America’s Affordable
Health Choices Act is our best bet for bringing high-quality affordable
health care to all Americans. Yes, it requires much up-front cost, but
it has rational mechanisms for funding its provisions, including savings
realized from a better way of doing health care.

, the national
organization advocating high quality evidence-based maternity care for
all women, babies and families, has thrown its support behind H.R. 3200
because it takes a big step toward widening access to evidence-based maternity care that is safer and more effective than the prevailing
style of care most pregnant women experience today.  

Maternity care is big business. Childbirth
is the number one reason for being hospitalized, and maternal and newborn
charges are the runaway leader in hospital charges: $86 billion in 2006
($39 billion of which was publicly funded by Medicaid). A major problem
is that costly childbirth procedures that entail risk are being overused,
wasting precious health care resources. Meanwhile, proven methods, generally
safer and cheaper, aren’t being used enough. Perverse incentives that
encourage overuse of inappropriate procedures have contributed to the
sad fact that while per capita health expenditures in the U.S. far exceed
those of all other nations, our performance lags distantly behind other
developed nations on quality indicators including low birthweight, c-section
and maternal death rates.  

H.R. 3200 addresses many of the problems
inherent in the U.S. maternity care system through private insurance
system reforms, better access to primary maternity care, especially
in underserved communities, and improved coverage for prevention and
wellness services. This makes perfect sense considering that most childbearing
women and their fetuses/newborns are healthy and at low risk, and thereby
best served by safe, low intervention primary maternity care, which
offers better value for payers over present approaches. 

This legislation also goes a long way
toward achieving Childbirth
Connection’s eight steps to reform maternity care 
and helps ensure that all pregnant women and
babies receive high quality maternity care.  

In particular, the bill would:  

1. Prohibit the use of pregnancy as a
pre-existing condition by health insurance providers.

2. Widen access to certified nurse-midwives
by eliminating inequities in how they are reimbursed under Medicare;

3. Measure and report publicly the performance
of maternity care facilities and providers and use results to improve

4. Pay for home visits by nurses for families
during or after pregnancy by Medicaid;

5. Expand access to primary maternity
care by improving Medicaid coverage of freestanding birth centers;

6. Provide incentives to maternity care
providers under Medicaid to provide care to underserved women and their

Kudos to the leadership of the House
Energy and Commerce Committee for passing H.R. 3200. Let’s work to
make health care reform become a reality, finally.

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  • marieivey

    Okay Ms. Corry, since you support this health care reform bill…what are the page numbers (in the 1000+ pages) where I will find these 6 provisions spelled out specifically? I would like to look them up for myself!

    Marie Ivey, RN, BSN

  • marieivey

    I am still waiting….

  • melgarvey

    Number 2 is HR 1101. Here is a direct link:

  • maureen

    Maureen Corry

    Childbirth Connection

    Search the bill here: 

    pre-existing conditions-page 19

    CNM reimbursement-Medicare-see comment above

    measure and report performance-Engel-Capps Amendment

    home visits-page 767

    freestanding birth center-page 782

    incentives-page 61

  • marieivey

    there is a ton of references back to other bills, regulations on who will be able to use these services, when it is impossible to tell what the “co-pays” will be, and what are the standards of care by which these provisions will be authorized by the government, AND if you receive sub-standard care…what is your recourse and who are you going to sue…the government…I don’t think so!!!

    Again…prisoners just received stimulus checks, the car dealers are waiting on their checks from the “Cash for Clunkers” programs, Medicare and Medicaid are consumed with FRAUD, the IRS is a disaster, the Postal Service is losing money, the public education system is a sham…I could go on all day! Are YOU willing to put your faith in THIS government at a cost of 9 TRILLION dollars to control your health care…I, for one, AM NOT!!!

  • marieivey

    I have a stellar idea for you, Ms. Corry, why don’t you put Charlie Wrangle in charge of Health Care Reform and we can all take a trip to the Carribean to his “place” and ride in his Mercedes NEITHER of which he paid TAXES on! And then maybe Van Jones could be his spokesperson! As a Republician, I REALLY enjoy being called an A*%#$%$ by someone in government in control of 30 million dollars! BTW, this A%@&*^% pays all of her taxes which the government is spending!!! If you want to hand over YOUR health care (and your children’s) to these people…go ahead but don’t ask me to! Oh…aren’t you glad Ms. Pelosi “Cleaned up the swamp in Congress”…this administration is such a joke!!!

    Do you have a comment?

  • marieivey

    I have another stellar idea! I think since I pay more in taxes than the other 99% of Americans…why can’t I vote with the same percentage! I paid over 1 million dollars in taxes for the last 5 years…so I shouldn’t have 5 million votes! IT IS MY MONEY and I worked hard for it! I have not been sitting on by butt waiting on someone to give me something!!! Why are other Americans not doing the same, Ms. Corry!!! I could have opened a FREE breastfeeding clinic in my area with MY money…instead…the government is using it to stimulate prisoners!

  • betty-brown

    no body wants to answer your "questions" (which are really only ignorant attempting-to-be-sarcastic idiocy) because those of us living in reality are tired of the hysterical loons. you people go on & on insanely spouting paranoia & myths, freaking out over socialism, immigrants, & a whole host of other boogie-men & all i hear is "i don’t want free healthcare from my government!! i’m a brainwashed idiot!!"truth?  is truth unchanging law?  we both have truths, are mine the same as yours?

  • colleen

    You don’t seem to be answering my question?

    I think that folks do not take you seriously what with your inability to spell something simple like Charlie Rangel’s name properly, your copious use of exclamation points (which makes you sound like a 10 year old girl passing notes in class), the idiot and clearly dishonest claims about your taxes and the tedious lack of either common sense or basic logic in your hysterical presentation.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • birthingchoices

    Colleen, who cares if MarieIvey spelled his name correctly or not…her point was that this administration is FULL of hypocrites! Charlie (what’s-his-name) doesn’t live by the same laws as the rest of us! And the !!!, maybe she is very tired of the BS you dems are spewing about the health care reform bill! If I paid as much money as she does…I would be pissed off too! Who are YOU to say she does not pay this much in taxes, do you work for the IRS? Her "presentation" is not hysterical nor is it untrue. How long can you dems defend this administration when all of this stuff is hitting you in the face? 

  • birthingchoices

    Betty Brown, MarieIvey ignorant? I don’t think so! Seems to me like MarieIvey IS living in reality and most of you Dems are the ones who are hysterical. If she is brainwashed, why in the world would she be working instead of sitting on "her butt" waiting to collect free health care or anything else from the government? When will most of you realize that there will come a time when the money will run out. You know, Betty Brown, that "hysterical loons" aren’t coming from the right, they are on the left side of the aisle.   

  • birthingchoices

    I noticed that both of the comments directed to MarieIvey DID NOT address the real issues. You guys always have a way of shifting the focus from the issues to something stupid like “spelling” or questioning “if” she pays over a million dollars in income taxes. How can you defend the BS? Look at the polls, more and more American citizens are aligning themselves with people like MarieIvey because they realize that she is correct in her thinking…and rightly so. The current administration needs to realize that the “Robin Hood” approach to government won’t last very long. The upper 99% will stop spending, donating to charity, or continuing to strive for a better life for themselves and their children if government punishes them. Then what will you do when you don’t have a “whipping boy”? The answer is you will give the government all of the power to SAVE you. No thank you Mr. President, I will continue to work hard instead of waiting on a handout just because I can vote.

  • birthingchoices

    Well I guess Van Jones “resigned”, that’s one down and plenty more to go. Love his comment that he resigned because of the “vicious smear campaign against me”(wah,and boohoo). Again, not taking responsibility for himself.

    I can’t believe anyone would want to put their trust in this administration. I just read some interesting information about how the Kennedy’s have protected their assets for years by funneling money into trusts and foundations and by even shifting some of their residences to Florida to save on taxes. I guess we are supposed to do what the dems tell us to do, but they don’t have to play by the rules. Let’s see if they sign up for the new government insurance…because it is hard enough to get them to pay their taxes…right, Mr. Daschle and Mr. Geithner! (did I spell that right, Colleen?)

  • birthingchoices

    I won’t ask you to respond…because there is no defense to the total disregard for the Constitution by this administration. When the president speaks on Wednesday, he will still be hiding behind his *speech* as if he was still running for the presidency.

    It is becoming more and more clear that he DOES NOT know what he is doing and DOES NOT have the experience to “run the country” as Ms. Clinton said numerous times during the campaign.

    Turning over health care to this administration…would be like sending your daughter off in a car with Ted Kennedy after a party!