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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Finance
    IntroducedMay 22nd, 2018

What is it?

This bill — known as the Help for Moms and Babies Act — would aim to improve access to care for pregnant and postpartum women receiving substance use treatment (including for opioid use) in institutions for mental disease (IMDs) under Medicaid. It would allow state Medicaid plans to cover medical assistance for items or services that are provided to the woman outside the IMD.

Impact

Female substance abusers; institutions for mental disease; pregnant substance abusers; postpartum substance abusers; Medicaid; Secretary of Health and Human Services; and the Social Security Act.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: The Catholic Health Association (CHA) of the United States supports this legislation that was introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI):

“Catholic health providers recognize that each human life is sacred and possesses inalienable worth, and that health care is essential to promoting and protecting the inherent dignity of every individual. We also recognize that supportive and readily available substance use disorder (SUD) treatments are essential facets of holistic, person-centered and effective health care. The first principle in our Vision for U.S. Health Care affirms our call to pay special attention to those most likely to lack access to health care, many of whom are in desperate need of SUD services. This commitment is why the Catholic health ministry strongly supports efforts to increase access to these services and ensure that they become fully integrated into our health care system.”

There are five cosponsors of this bill, including four Democrats and one Republican.


Of NoteOpioid abuse among pregnant women has reached epidemic proportions. From 1992 to 2012, the proportion of pregnant women admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities that reported a history of prescription opioid abuse increased from 2% to 28%.

Treatment of pregnant and postpartum women with substance abuse issues can improve both maternal and newborn health outcomes when provided alongside prenatal care. Special consideration is needed for women with opioid dependency, who need to be appropriately cared for to prevent both a postpartum relapse of their drug use and proper pain management.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administers Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) grants, which provided $485 million to states and U.S. territories in FY 2017 to: 1) increase access to treatment; 2) reduce unmet treatment needs; and 3) reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of full-range prevention, treatment, and recovery services for opioid use disorder.

SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) is a vital source of funding for states, accounting for approximately 32% of total state substance abuse agency funding. SABG’s flexible structure enables states to use their funds to address pressing challenges — including the opioid crisis.

SAMHSA also provides essential funding for specific high-risk and vulnerable populations, including pregnant and postpartum women. SAMHSA’s Pregnant and Postpartum Women’s (PPW) program, which serves women with opioid or other substance use disorders who are pregnant and/or newly parenting, funds treatment programs specifically for pregnant women. In November 2017, SAMHSA awarded $9.8 million over three years for new State Pilot PPW grants authorized by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and $49 million over five years in new PPW service grants to support the recovery of pregnant and postpartum women struggling with substance abuse, including opioid addiction.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / RuslanDashinsky)

AKA

Help for Moms and Babies Act

Official Title

A bill to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to help improve access to care for pregnant and postpartum women receiving substance use disorder treatment, including for opioid use disorders, in an institution for mental diseases.

    Whatever help can be extended to ANY person in need of medical assistance needs to done. The best and rational approach is, of course, universal single payer healthcare, cradle to grave.
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    We need to stop treating tax money as if it was charitible donations. It is money forcibly taken from all of us to be used for the minimum purposes set forth in the US Constitution. I am all for charity, but this is not charitible since it is not voluntary.
    Like (29)
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    The ones who are most vulnerable are the ones who need most of our help.
    Like (46)
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    Expanding healthcare is always a good idea.
    Like (40)
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    Expanding access to healthcare is ALWAYS a good idea.
    Like (32)
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    "Charity is no part of the Legislative duty of the government." James Madison
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    These treatments are critical for the mother and for the baby’s life going forward. Let’s expand Medicaid coverage for these treatment plans, but in the long term, we need a national health insurance system that will cover everyone!.
    Like (15)
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    Use the funds which are currently available for these issues.....
    Like (13)
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    Lets just give EVERYBODY Medicare for All and be done, simple, taxpayer-money-saving, healthcare for every American regardless of citizen status!
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    I assume this will have nothing but the strongest support from the “Pro-Life” crowd? If you care about kids as much as you claim, then we have a responsibility to provide every opportunity to newborns AND their mothers.
    Like (11)
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    I never want to see another one of you nay votes ranting about your forced breeding agenda against women ever again. Pro-Life my fanny. Hypocrites and liars, the lot of you.
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    Why is there this constant search for problems, and assuming the only solution is DC?
    Like (7)
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    Someone wrote this is just more of our money spent on "charity" with no return for us. He's wrong. Saving children from being raised/abused by addicted mothers will in the long run save us far more than we put into it at this early stage.
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    Pregnancy’s offspring deserve our support. WWJD?
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    All women should have access to a full range of healthcare options. I’m a voter in Ohio’s 12th congressional district and I support this bill.
    Like (4)
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    This country's record on care for pregnant women and babies is dismal. This help should be extended to cover all aspects of prenancy, birth and post partum care. Yes Medicare for all is a reasonable solution.
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    I don't think anyone can argue with making sure pregnant women get whatever medical help they need so the baby is born healthy. It's both moral and a financial windfall.
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    These women are committing crimes of child abuse by abusing the unborn fetus! Especially that a majority of those fetuses that do survive are born addicted themselves and most likely will have significant medical and emotional issues for a long time after birth some permanently!!! We do not need to throw more money into the problems! Unless it is to get them arrested and off the streets and off drugs before the baby is born. Or perhaps to prevent the sale and distribution of drugs in the first place. There are too many drugs readily available and being sold in plain sight that the police should have these traffickers off the street!!!
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    Because it's the right thing to do
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    Though single payer would be the worst thing to happen to medicine in our country - expanding some care to opioid addicted moms seems like it might help a lot of folks right now. We should have drug companies pay for it!
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