S.1600: Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies Act
The Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies Act is bicameral legislation that aims to reduce infant morbidity and mortality, particularly among Black women. Data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that Black women are 75 percent more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. This is attributed to both lifelong stress from systemic racism and medical racism, which often results in the inadequate treatment of pain and disbelief of Black patients’ symptoms.
The legislation would establish a grant program that awards funds to accredited medical schools who hold trainings on implicit bias that were created in collaboration with medical professionals as well as community-based organizations. Disbursement of grants would prioritize states with the greatest racial disparities in infant morbidity and mortality rates. It would also require the National Academy of Medicine to study and make recommendations for incorporating bias recognition in clinical skills testing for U.S. medical schools. The Act would appropriate $5,000,000 for the implementation of this grant program from fiscal years 2020-2024.
Additionally, the Maternal CARE Act would establish the Pregnancy Medical Home Demonstration Project, which would assist up to 10 states with implementing and sustaining pregnancy medical home (PMH) programs. Pregnancy medical homes are designed to improve maternal and infant health through coordinated, evidence-based maternity care management for women at risk of poor birth outcomes. The House version of this bill is H.R. 2902.
- The National Assembly is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The National Assembly envisions equity as the condition in which differences among people have no influence on how they fare in society.
- Equity is advanced through the implementation of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that prevent differential outcomes based on the differences among people. This requires a continuous reevaluation of norms, and a commitment to eliminating policies, practices, and systems that perpetuate inequity, so that all people are fully welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.
- Health equity for Black women is a basic human right, and is essential for the well-being of families and communities.
- The National Assembly supports the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies Act because it would reduce poor birth outcomes among Black women.