Friday, October 2, 2009

Grassroots Network: From the MAMA Campaign: write letters!

Dear Friends,

The Midwives & Mothers in Action (MAMA) Campaign is going strong! And now is the time to write letters to help get Certified Professional Midwives added to the federal list of Medicaid providers as part of the health care reform legislation.

Below is this week’s e-mail from the MAMA Campaign (not sure the photos will come through). If you have already signed up for weekly e-mail from the MAMA Campaign, you already received this e-mail. If you haven’t, I hope you’ll sign up (at )! Scroll down to read about how the campaign is going, and what some people have been doing to support this work.

Letters are needed – Congress members will not pay attention to this issue unless they hear from constituents. Letter-writing instructions are on the website. Short letters are fine! It only takes a few minutes to help with this campaign, so more women will have more access to Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital birth!


Susan Hodges “gatekeeper”

From the MAMA Campaign 9-28-09

Visualizing our Goals

Federal Recognition: What Does it Mean?

You’ve seen this phrase on the news: the United States Senate is “marking up” its version of health care reform. Mark up means the formal public sessions in which legislation is drafted and amended. The bills are huge and complicated, and Congress makes many changes along the way, but eventually there will be a single bill in the Senate and a single bill in the House. And in those final bills, we still hope to see Certified Professional Midwives included as Medicaid providers.

But what, exactly, will that mean? How will federal recognition change the lives of midwives and the communities of women they serve?

Federal recognition of the Certified Professional Midwife, which we hope to achieve by adding CPMs to the list of approved Medicaid providers, will benefit mothers and midwives in three ways:

1) CPMs who are licensed will be eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursement for their fees, which will allow Medicaid mothers access to the same provider options as are currently available to mothers who have other methods of payment, such as private insurance;

2) Clients who are covered by other insurance policies will be more likely to receive reimbursement for CPM services because many insurance companies use the Medicaid provider list as a guideline for reimbursement; and

3) States that are working toward licensure will have a more persuasive argument for state recognition if CPMs are on the federal list of Medicaid providers.

If CPMs were added to the federal list of Medicaid providers, licensed CPMs would have the option of accepting Medicaid (but would not have to). In the eleven states that currently reimburse midwives from state Medicaid funds, it means that the state will be eligible for matching federal funds for purposes of reimbursement, thus reducing the burden on state funds. Including CPMs as approved Medicaid providers means that Medicaid mothers will have access to more maternity care options.

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Use Your Voice!

If you haven’t written a letter yet, now is the time! If you have already written, it’s time to write again!

Your Senators and Representatives in Congress won’t pay attention to this issue unless they hear from YOU – their constituents – in large numbers. At this time, a very brief letter is as good as a longer letter, and you can find everything you need to know at our web site.

Write to your legislator today! Tell them to support federal recognition for Certified Professional Midwives. We’ve made it easy for you; just follow this link.

Activists of the Week: Missoula Supports Midwives

On September 24th, children born at home marched with their parents and midwives in Missoula, Montana.

(Sorry, could not include photo)
Caption: Erika Hickey (left) and Julie Tompkins hold a sign with a simple message for Senator Baucus, the powerful Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

MAMA Is Blogging Health Care Reform.
You can follow the health care reform debate with MAMA! Read the latest post on our blog, The Grapevine.

Donate Your Resources: A Message from the Co-chair!

(Sorry, could not include photo)
Caption: Mary Lawlor, MAMA Campaign Co-Chair, lobbies Congress for federal recognition for Certified Professional Midwives.

Our Midwives and Mothers have come so far so fast in Washington, D.C. this summer! We have garnered great support and momentum on the Hill for including CPMs in the federal Medicaid program. Your passion and support, your letters and your dollars have fueled this momentum.

As the health care bills in the House and the Senate gather steam this fall, please keep your letters coming. And please keep your dollars coming as well! Could you donate $25, $50, or even $100 to the cause of federal recognition for CPMs? If you have already donated, could you give again? Every dollar helps move us closer to our goal! Your generosity is deeply appreciated.

Just click to donate.

Thank you!

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