WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Rep. Buddy Carter is working from Washington to lower the maternal mortality rate in his home state of Georgia.
Rep. Buddy Carter discusses maternal mortality in Georgia with Gray DC. (Source: Gray DC).
Georgia currently has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, according to the state's Department of Public Health. Rep. Carter recently held a roundtable with state healthcare professionals to talk about solutions.
"It's embarrassing that Georgia's the number one state in the nation," Rep. Carter said. "We don't really know why. But we know that it's number one, and we need to address it."
Rep. Carter is the leading Republican co-sponsor of the Helping MOMs Act, which he expects to soon pass in the full Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill would give states the option to offer postpartum health coverage for one year after birth.
Carter hopes the bipartisan bill will unanimously pass on the floor of the House based on the numbers they've seen about the impact of maternal mortality.
"We haven't seen it impact Democrats over Republicans, or vice versa," Carter said. "It impacts everyone."
Carter is also introducing a new bill that will give Medicaid recipients access to birth centers if enacted, called the BABIES Act.
"We know there are many counties in the United States, particularly in South Georgia, that don't even have a hospital, much less a maternity ward," Carter said. "But they do have birth centers."
Carter said within communities in Georgia and across the U.S, Americans can help the problem by paying close attention to the new mothers in their lives when it comes to health care and postpartum symptoms.
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