VIDEO: Wisconsin Yet to Take Advantage of Financial Incentive for Postpartum Healthcare

By Pat Kreitlow

January 19, 2024

Wisconsin is one of only four states that has yet to take advantage of a financial incentive to extend postpartum healthcare coverage to new moms through Medicaid, even as the number of new moms with medical complications and deaths is on the rise. The state Senate approved a bill to accept the federal Medicaid funding last fall by a 32-1 vote, but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has not yet brought the bill up for a vote in that chamber. Under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, states can receive funding to extend postpartum coverage for people on Medicaid—known as BadgerCare in Wisconsin—from 60 days to a full year following birth. To date, 46 states have extended coverage for new moms. Only Wisconsin, Idaho, Iowa, and Arkansas have not. Healthcare providers, parents, and legislators are pleading with Vos to schedule a vote. At a press event Wednesday sponsored by the group Protect Our Care, advocates said the expansion will improve maternal health care outcomes across the state. Among the countries in the developed world, women in the US are the most likely to die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. In 2018, there were 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the US — a ratio more than double that of most other high-income countries. The US is also the only high-income country that does not guarantee paid leave to mothers after childbirth.

@upnorthnews Wisconsin is one of only four states that has yet to take advantage of a financial incentive to extend postpartum healthcare coverage to new moms through Medicaid, even as the number of new moms with medical complications and deaths is on the rise. The state Senate approved a bill to accept the federal Medicaid funding last fall by a 32-1 vote, but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has not yet brought the bill up for a vote in that chamber. Under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, states can receive funding to extend postpartum coverage for people on Medicaid—known as BadgerCare in Wisconsin—from 60 days to a full year following birth. To date, 46 states have extended coverage for new moms. Only Wisconsin, Idaho, Iowa, and Arkansas have not. Healthcare providers, parents, and legislators are pleading with Vos to schedule a vote. At a press event Wednesday sponsored by the group Protect Our Care, advocates said the expansion will improve maternal health care outcomes across the state. Among the countries in the developed world, women in the US are the most likely to die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. In 2018, there were 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the US — a ratio more than double that of most other high-income countries. The US is also the only high-income country that does not guarantee paid leave to mothers after childbirth. #wisconsin #wisconsinnews #medicaid #biden #senate ♬ original sound – UpNorthNews

Author

  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.

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