Organizing for America, a website run by the Democratic Party, is working to get more people involved with Health Care Reform efforts. The activity is to have gatherings or house parties—Kick Off events -- on June 6 (yes, in just a couple of days!). You can host an event, or you can find one already scheduled in your town just by entering your zip code (see link below).
These gatherings do not have to be big and fancy, but they can focus attention on the importance of Maternity Care in health care reform, and in particular on Midwives, especially Certified Professional Midwives, as an important part of the solution.
President Obama has stated that real reform must uphold three core principles -- it must reduce costs, guarantee choice, and ensure quality care for every American.
Federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives, so that they are eligible for Medicaid reimbursement, would address all three goals without costing anyone any additional money, and would actually save us all a lot of money.
Below are suggestions for participating in these Kick-Off events. Whether you host one or participate in one, you can talk about maternity care, midwifery and especially the financial and health benefits of increasing access to out of hospital birth with Certified Professional Midwives.
For additional useful facts and information:
CfM’s letter to Obama “Maternity Care: A Priority for Health Care Reform”
“State of American Childbirth”
“Out-of-Hospital Midwifery Care: Much Lower Rates of Cesarean Sections for Low-Risk Women"
“CPM Issue Brief - Certified Professional Midwives in the United States”
Additional factual information here (scroll down home page for Childbirth Connection’s “Health Care Reform Priorities for High Quality, High Value Maternity Care” and the Milbank Report on Evidence-based Maternity Care).
How to Participate in the Health Care Reform Kick Off Parties
1) Go to the Organizing for America website that is run the Democratic National Committee
2) Register if you do not already have a user name and password.
3) Click on "Host or Attend a Health Care Organizing Kick off"
4) Create your event, entitled, "Midwifery and Health Care Reform – (Your Town)." We would like all of the events to have the same name so that we will be more noticeable.
5) Follow the instructions to create your event, including inviting as many people as you can think of. Here is a description that you can use for your event:
"This 2 hour event will be designed to inform consumers and health care practitioners about the value of including midwifery in the upcoming Health Care Reform bills. We will discuss how everyone can get involved. Light refreshments will be served."
You can, however, say whatever you would like and plan whatever you would like.
6) Download or at least read online the instructions on how to host a Kick Off event. It will give you a little sense of what they are looking for. Our events will be more specific to midwifery. At some point during your event, you can have attendees log on to the Organizing for America site and write their stories. If you don’t want to host an event, attend one that is already scheduled and speak up about CPMs and home birth.
7) These kick offs are designed to mobilize people around spreading the word about health care reform. We want to mobilize people around spreading the word about how midwifery can be included in health care reform. Brainstorm ideas for talking to key legislators and policy makers in your area.
8) These kick offs are also wanting to inspire folks to do Health Care Service projects on June 27, 2009. Brainstorm how your group might “show off” how wonderful midwives are and could be in your community. How about collecting baby clothes donations for the homeless or low-income families. What about offering a free day of prenatal visits, massage and yoga. Be creative, be fun, be visible.
So…. Let’s be part of the national debate. We need to be concise, consistent and VISIBLE!! Have fun and let us know what happened!!
Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”