Friday, September 11, 2009

News from the MAMA Campaign: THE TIME IS NOW


With those words on Wednesday night, President Obama urged Congress and all of us to work together to reform the U.S. health care system. And as the President noted, committees of Congress are already hard at work writing health care reform bills. _This means that now is also the time to stand up for Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) as part of health care reform._

In his speech to the Joint Session of Congress, President Obama restated the basic components of his plan for health care reform, and addressed some of the controversies and misinformation that have been in the headlines. View the speech at

Based on the responses of Representatives and Senators from both sides of the aisle, there was strong agreement that the health care system has major problems and needs to be fixed, and that health insurance needs reform. While not everyone agrees on the best way to accomplish these goals, adding CPMs to the list of Medicaid providers is a no-brainer -- it would add a high quality, low cost choice for maternity care for women on Medicaid, and eventually for women on most insurance plans.

While details of reform are still being worked out, President Obama
mentioned that there is already agreement on about 80% of what is in the various draft bills. While the "public option" remains a contentious topic, it is only one possible part of the package. The MAMA Campaign goal to have Certified Professional Midwives added to the list of Medicaid providers does NOT depend on a public option being part of the health care reform plan.

President Obama stated: "_One of the unique and wonderful things about America has always been our self-reliance, our rugged individualism, our fierce defense of freedom and our healthy skepticism of government. And figuring out the appropriate size and role of government has always been a source of rigorous and sometimes angry debate_." The work of Certified Professional Midwives exemplifies these valuable characteristics, but making it possible for all women to have access to the choice of midwifery care in out-of-hospital settings is one appropriate place for federal government to play a role- just as it has successfully done in states across the country. _Adding Certified Professional Midwives to the federal list of Medicaid providers is a simple step to make this possible, and is why it should be part of any health care bill that comes out of Congress!_

Let's make sure CPM recognition is part of any health care bill that comes
out of Congress! Support MAMA today, donate at

To read more about President Obama’s speech, visit

All summer long, and especially during the August recess, members of
Congress have been busy responding to questions about health care from their constituents. At town hall meetings across the country, people have been asking their legislators about pre-existing conditions, insurance costs, and the public option.

_But did you know that Americans nationwide were also asking about midwives?_

We do. We’ve seen the results of it. _Thanks to your letters and emails
and our weekly visits to Washington DC, legislators’ support is growing to
extend Medicaid coverage to include CPMs._ They are now considering our provision. With your help we can get them to include CPMs as a priority and put our amendment into the bills.

Congress is likely to act on health care reform this month. The more
legislators learn about Certified Professional Midwives, the more support
they show for an amendment that would reimburse CPM’s services through Medicaid. But legislators are cautious. They will not distinguish our amendment from the many proposed amendments unless they know that there is something special about it. They need to hear that their constituents want to be able to choose CPMs for their maternity care providers. There are still opportunities to insert our amendment into the House and Senate health care bills.

Ask them to support federal recognition for Certified Professional Midwives as Medicaid providers.

If you signed up to help at and you live in a key
state [] or district [], chances are that you have already heard directly from us over the last month asking you to call or write your Senator[] or
Representative [] at their local or district offices. Thank you to all of you who have contacted your legislators in these key states and districts.

As the president puts pressure on congress to make reform happen, we need more letters from supporters across the country. Please write a letter to your own Congress members! Go to [] for instructions on writing and sending your legislators a letter. THANK YOU to all of you who have already written.

You can follow the health care reform debate with MAMA! Read the latest post on our blog, The Grapevine at

Your donations keep this campaign going. And we thank you for your
support. If you haven’t donated yet, please donate today! Your gift of $25, $50, or even $100 will ensure that legislators continue to hear about the importance of federal recognition for Certified Professional Midwives.Visit to make a donation today. MAMA is working for you!

Please help your MAMA!

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