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House Lawmakers Advance Bills to Support Maternal Health

April 17, 2024

The state House Health committee advanced two bills this morning to support maternal health.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • House Bill 2097:  This legislation, sponsored by La'Tasha D. Mayes (D-Allegheny), would expand coverage of at-home blood pressure monitors for pregnant and postpartum patients. The bill passed by a 23–2 margin and advanced to the House for consideration.
    • Earlier identification of high blood pressure during pregnancy offers opportunities to address complications.
    • Hypertension disorders of pregnancy are among the leading causes of maternal, neonatal, and fetal morbidity and mortality.
  • House Bill 1608:  This legislation, sponsored by Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia), would extend Medicaid coverage for doula services and create the doula advisory board. The bill passed 14–11 and advances to the House for consideration.
    • “Doulas can play a critical role in filling the gap in these (maternal health) deserts, and because of their close proximity to their clients are able to track early warning signs of mental health concerns as well as guiding them to the proper resources to receive the proper care,” Cephas noted.
  • Background:  The two bills are part of the PA MOMNIBUS legislative package focused on reversing trends in black maternal morbidity and mortality.
  • HAP advocacy:  This week, HAP submitted letters urging support of both House Bill 2097 and House Bill 1608.

The meeting is available to review online.