America Has a Maternal Mortality Crisis. Biden Push Aims to Change That.
The Biden administration has developed a nearly 70-page plan that sets forth over 50 actions to address the U.S. maternal mortality crisis. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income nations, especially for Black, Native American, and rural women, and plan aims to help the nation become "the best country in the world to have a baby." The blueprint calls for extending Medicaid coverage to a full year postpartum and requiring hospitals to document efforts to improve maternal care, among other things, and involves a "whole-of-government" approach that extends beyond health-care delivery solutions. Administration officials acknowledge that improving maternal mortality must involve an understanding of the impacts of racism, housing policy, policing, climate change, and pollution on expectant mothers, along with more sweeping societal changes. The blueprint on its own is not enough, acknowledged White House Domestic Policy Adviser Susan Rice, but it details the steps that must be taken to begin to address the issue. "We are now judging the private sector providers, the system, on how well they perform, and holding them to a standard," she said.
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