Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Call your legislator today!

Courtesy of the Big Push for Midwives:

Now that the House has passed health care reform legislation WITHOUT CPMs included, it has become clear that we need our OWN bill. The Senate is our best hope to do that.

Please call your Senators today and ask them to take the lead in introducing a BILL to provide Medicaid payment of Certified Professional Midwife services.

To find your Senators and their contact information, go to:



Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senators' offices.

Midwives and other childbirth professionals: It's very important to pass this action alert to your clients and ask them to make calls TODAY!

A separate bill for CPMs gives us many more options for ensuring that their services are federally recognized and covered and it allows us to recruit supporters from BOTH parties!

Keep trying if you don't get through. Call AGAIN even if you've called already-it takes more than one call! LOTS of groups are calling their Senators about health care reform today-support for Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital maternity care needs to get heard through all the noise!

Ask to speak with your Senator's legislative health assistant. Be sure to get his/her name. This is critical information for us to follow-up with the staff.

Please note that emails and messages left with receptionists are not effective!

Ask that your Senator take the lead in introducing a bill to provide Medicaid payment for the services of Certified Professional Midwives, who are the only type of midwife in the U.S. with specialized training in out-of-hospital maternity care.

Call or email Karen Fennell and tell her who you talked with and any comments or additional information requested so she can follow up with offices. Call 301-830-3910 or send an email to karenfennell50@yahoo.com

Some background information and talking points to add if you wish:

§ Pregnant women are being denied access to maternity care thanks to an oversight in Medicaid law that denies low-income women who seek out-of-hospital maternity care access to Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all but 11 states.

§ Because of this gap in Medicaid law, thousands of women in states across the country unable to utilize the services of providers with a proven record of improving outcomes.

§ Denying pregnant women access to Certified Professional Midwives saddles our health care system with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs each year.

§ Across the country in rural and urban communities, Certified Professional Midwives are already meeting the needs of pregnant women and their infants who have nowhere else to go at a time when many other maternity care providers have abandoned these communities to practice in more affluent suburbs and exurbs.

§ Demand for access to out-of-hospital birth under the care of Certified Professional Midwives-who are specially trained to provide it-has increased 27% since 1996.

§ Research consistently shows that low-risk women who plan out-of-hospital births under the care of Certified Professional Midwives experience outcomes equal to low-risk women who give birth in the hospital, but with far fewer costly and preventable interventions, including a five-fold decrease in cesarean surgery.

§ Certified Professional Midwives have a proven history of reducing low birth weight and preterm birth, the main causes of neonatal death in the United States and two of the primary contributing factors to racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes, as well as to the costs associated with long-term care.

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