Association of Black Cardiologists Is Proud to Support
A Historic Legislative Package to Address America’s
Maternal Health Crisis
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act includes 12 bills to end maternal
mortality and close racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes
Washington, D.C., February 8, 2021 — The Association of Black Cardiologists is proud to endorse the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, introduced today by Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Alma Adams (NC-12), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus.
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 will build on existing maternal health legislation, like policies to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, with 12 bills to comprehensively address every dimension of America’s maternal health crisis. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act makes investments in social determinants of health, community-based organizations, the growth and diversification of the perinatal workforce, improvements in data collection, and support for moms and babies exposed to climate change-related risks. In addition to direct efforts to improve Black maternal health outcomes, the Momnibus focuses on high-risk populations, including veterans, incarcerated people, Native Americans, and other women and birthing people of color.
The United States has the highest pregnancy-related death rate in the developed world, and the only rate that is rising. The maternal mortality rate is significantly higher among Black women, who are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications. Other birthing people of color, including Hispanic, Native American, and AAPI women, also suffer from disproportionate rates of adverse maternal health outcomes.
Peripartum cardiomyopathy contributes to 23 percent of maternal deaths; embolic events, hemorrhage, and hypertension are also major contributors. The majority of these deaths are preventable.
“The ABC applauds Congresswomen Underwood and Adams and Senator Booker for using the full weight of elected office to improve maternal health and eliminate racial inequities through the introduction of The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021,” said Michelle A. Albert, MD, President, Association of Black Cardiologists. “In 2020, the ABC hosted the Black Maternal Heart Health Roundtable, a collaborative task force of diverse stakeholders and champions of maternal health equity to discuss the dissemination and implementation of innovative solutions presented in a paper led by Dr. Rachel Bond. Solving the Black maternal health crisis requires every corner of the stakeholder community coming together. The Black Maternal Health Caucus has played an indispensable role in this regard, and ABC is proud to serve as a collaborator.”’
This extensive legislative package can help improve disparities in healthcare through establishment of effective, evidence-based policies and best practices, some of which will:
● Promote innovative payment models to incentivize high-quality maternity care and continuity of health insurance coverage from pregnancy through labor and delivery and up to 1 year postpartum.
● Strengthen programs to improve maternal health during COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.
● Promote maternal vaccinations to protect the health and safety of moms and babies.
This legislation offers an opportunity to make a significant impact on maternal health and outcomes for all women, but particularly those at highest risk.
About the Association of Black Cardiologists
Founded in 1974, the ABC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the disparities related to cardiovascular disease and achieving health equity such that all people can live long healthy lives. Membership is open to all interested in the care of people with or at risk for cardiovascular disease, including health professionals, lay members of the community (Community Health Advocates), corporate and institutional members. Today, the ABC’s public and private partnerships continue to increase its impact in communities across the nation.