TCF director of health care reform and senior fellow Jamila Taylor, one of the nation’s leading maternal health experts, released the following statement regarding the newly announced Build Back Better Act framework:

“Today, President Biden, after working closely with Congressional leadership and hearing input from members of Congress representing various sides on the issues, announced a framework for historic investments as part of the Build Back Better Act that, if passed, will take a significant step toward addressing the country’s maternal health crisis and impact the lives of millions of women and birthing people. I applaud the Biden–Harris administration’s commitment to ending racial disparities in maternal health outcomes as part of their dedication to achieving health equity.

“The included investments of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus will expand and diversify the perinatal workforce, address the social determinants of health, invest in research and data collection, expand access to digital health tools, and so much more. These investments are historic not only for their impact, but also because they were crafted for and by Black women who are the leading experts in this space. Thank you to the Black Maternal Health Caucus and Momnibus leaders, including Senator Booker and Representatives Adams and Underwood, for their tireless work to advance Black maternal health.

“The funding of Medicaid postpartum coverage up to one year is a key step in eliminating disparities in maternal health. Building on the temporary option put forth in the American Rescue Plan, this investment will provide health care coverage during the critical year postpartum for over a million uninsured new moms over ten years. Allowing birthing people to continue receiving necessary health care while they recover from pregnancy will save lives—particularly for the Black and Indigenous people who are most at risk.

“Although the fight to end the Black maternal health crisis will not end here, the investments in Build Back Better take groundbreaking steps towards maternal health equity and shoring up historic expansions in health care coverage for millions of Americans. Congress must act swiftly to pass the Build Back Better Act as consistent with President Biden’s framework.