Senate Finance Committee Passes Senators Stabenow and Grassley’s Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Maternity Care for Moms and Babies

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance approved Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) bipartisan Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act of 2015 to improve maternity care for women and newborns and reduce health care costs. This bill makes sure all pregnant women have the care they need to give their children a healthy start regardless of where they live. Senators Stabenow and Grassley are senior members of the Senate Finance Committee.

"From small towns like the one I grew up in to big cities, women and children deserve access to the best health care from the very start of a pregnancy." said Senator Stabenow. "By making sure women and their babies receive quality care from the doctor's office to the delivery room, we will help healthy babies grow into healthy and successful adults."

"Sharing best practices is something to encourage in any field, especially in health care, where lives are at stake," Senator Grassley said. "With the federal government paying for 40 percent of births in the United States and the incredible expense and risk of complicated deliveries, improving maternity outcome quality makes sense for moms, babies and taxpayers."

"This bill is a boon for women and babies and will accelerate much-needed improvement in maternity and infant care," said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. "With Medicaid covering more than two in five births in this country, we need innovative ways to drive better health outcomes and higher quality care, and this legislation will help do just that. We applaud Senators Stabenow and Grassley for their unwavering commitment to healthy mothers and babies, and urge the full Senate - and the House - to make passage of the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act a high priority this year."

Nearly a quarter of all hospitalizations are related to childbearing women and newborns. The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act of 2015 will improve maternity care for women and newborns by holding Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program accountable through higher quality standards. The legislation will also support collaboration that promotes the best care and avoids medical complications to reduce costs.