May 23, 2023

Cortez Masto Joins Bicameral Effort to Combat America’s Maternal Health Crisis

Washington, D.C.  – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in a reintroduction of the bicameral Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act. This historic legislation will save moms’ lives and address the drivers of maternal mortality, morbidity, and health disparities in the United States.

“Our health care system should work for everyone, regardless of their background, which is why I have always fought to deliver inclusive, quality health care to Nevada families,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “It’s unacceptable that our country’s maternal mortality rate continues to rise, especially for mothers of color, and I’m working with my colleagues to get Nevadans the support they need to keep themselves and their children healthy.”

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high-income country, and recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that maternal deaths in recent years have increased by a dramatic 89%. But more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Actmakes critical investments to expand and improve access to maternal health care by:

  • Investing in housing, transportation, and nutrition for families. 
  • Extending WIC eligibility in the postpartum and breastfeeding periods. 
  • Providing funding to community-based organizations that are working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity. 
  • Increasing funding for programs to improve maternal health care for veterans. 
  • Growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce to ensure that every mom in America receives maternal health care and support from people they trust. 
  • Supporting moms with maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders. 
  • Investing in federal programs to address maternal and infant health risks during public health emergencies.  
  • Investing in community-based initiatives to reduce levels of and exposure to climate change-related risks for moms and babies. 
  • Promoting maternal vaccinations to protect the health of moms and babies. 

The full text of the bill can be found here.

A fierce defender of working families, Senator Cortez Masto has cosponsored the Healthy MOM Act, to expand health care options for expectant mothers by allowing them to enroll in or change their health care plan once they become pregnant. She introduced legislation to prevent housing discrimination against low-income families and to give more individuals and their families access to affordable housing and a shot at economic mobility. Cortez Masto is leading legislation to make health care more affordable for working families with children.