Rep. Crist Celebrates Historic Momnibus Investments Included in Build Back Better Markup

This week, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) joined his colleagues on the Black Maternal Health Caucus to applaud the Energy and Commerce Committee for advancing critical investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act (H.R. 959/S. 346) in the Committee’s markup of the Build Back Better Act. The legislation now goes to the House Committee on Budget before heading to the full House of Representatives.

"I'm thrilled to see the Energy and Commerce Committee has answered our call to prioritize the health of Black mothers and children by advancing over $1 billion for maternal health equity in the Build Back Better legislation," said Crist. "The Momnibus is a critical first step in reversing the health and social inequities that have resulted in Black mothers dying at more than three times the rate of white women. This is an investment in our families, our children, and all the Black mothers working hard every day to provide the best life for themselves and their babies."

The Energy & Commerce Committee’s Build Back Better Act legislation includes historic investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to save moms’ lives, end racial and ethnic maternal health disparities, and advance birth equity across the United States: 

·         Provides $175 million in funding for local entities to address social determinants of maternal health like housing, nutrition, and environmental conditions – including a minimum of $75 million exclusively for community-based organizations working to promote maternal health equity. 

·         Provides $275 million to grow and diversify the perinatal health workforce, including nurses, midwives, physicians, doulas, and maternal mental and behavioral health professionals – including $50 million specifically for doulas. 

·         Provides $100 million for maternal mental health equity grant programs. 

·         Provides $85 million to address the impacts of climate change-related maternal and infant health risks through health professional schools. 

·         Provides $50 million to advance maternal health research at Minority-Serving Institutions like Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and AAPISIs. 

·         Provides $50 million to promote representative community engagement in Maternal Mortality Review Committees. 

·         Provides $160 million to strengthen federal maternal health programs like the CDC’s Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies program, Enhancing Reviews and Surveillance to Eliminate Maternal Mortality (ERASE MM), Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). 

·         Provides $60 million to expand access to digital tools and technologies that promote maternal health equity. 

·         Provides $25 million for bias trainings among health care professionals. 

The Build Back Better legislation also includes a mandatory provision that will make federal funds permanently available for states to spend on expanded postpartum Medicaid and CHIP coverage to one year in every state, with full state plan benefits throughout pregnancy and the yearlong postpartum period. 

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act (H.R. 959/S. 346) was reintroduced in February 2021 by Underwood, Adams, and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). The Momnibus builds on existing maternal health legislation with 12 bills to comprehensively address the clinical and non-clinical drivers of the maternal health crisis in the United States. The Momnibus makes critical investments in addressing social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, and improving data collection processes. The Momnibus also includes new legislation to address the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change on maternal and infant health outcomes. 

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