The Senate on Tuesday advanced a bipartisan bill that would expand health coverage to new moms. SB 45, sponsored by Sen. Elaine Gannon (R-De Soto) and Sen. Tracy McCreery (D-St. Louis), would extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for low-income women from 60 days to one year. During committee testimony, the senators estimated that the bills would cover around 4,600 women per year who would otherwise lose their coverage after 60 days postpartum. They also pointed to findings from the Missouri Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review Board last year that found 75% of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable and that most occurred between 43 days and one year after pregnancy. “I think we have to always remember that healthy moms means healthy kids,” Gannon said during the floor debate.
A wide range of groups, including the MCC, testified in support of the proposal. The bill must now receive one more vote in the Senate before moving to the House.