Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MAMA Campaign News and Webinar

Grassroots Network Message
MAMA Campaign: Great News! and Webinar

Dear Friends,

I'm hoping most of you have signed up for MAMA Campaign updates (go to www.mamacampaign.org). If not, here is the latest! (see below) The hard work by the MAMA Campaign has achieved a great step in the right direction, plus you can sign up for a Webinar to find out in more detail what the Campaign has been doing!

Susan Hodges, "gatekeeper"

From the MAMA Campaign:

1. Congress takes an important step forward for CPMs!
2. We need your help
3. Join MAMA for a Webinar about the Campaign next Monday!

Congress takes an important step forward for CPMs!

MAMA's hard work, with your intrepid support, is paying off!
The Senate Finance Committee has included language in their bill that will advance the interests of CPMs and the women they serve - thanks to the support of a key Senator secured by MAMA!
On Friday, November 13th, MAMA representatives met with a top health aide to Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington State . In direct response to MAMA advocacy, Senator Cantwell has included a provision in the Senate Finance Committee bill that will require Medicaid to reimburse licensed birth attendants (which would include state-licensed CPMs) who provide services in licensed birth centers. We were told that the Senator feels strongly about including CPMs in the health care bill and recognizes that her home state of Washington has played a leading role in demonstrating the high quality and low cost of CPM care. The Senator has heard the call from MAMA loud and clear and committed to finding a way to move the ball forward for CPMs.

Building from language crafted by the American Association of Birth Centers for legislation that will require that birth centers receive payment for facility fees, Senator Cantwell was able to add language specifying payment to the providers - licensed birth attendants - as well. Other Finance Committee members, including the Chairman, lined up with Senator Cantwell in support of her provision, demonstrating that our outreach to those offices has also borne fruit. Of great significance, she has also secured the commitment of Senator Reid, the Democratic Majority Leader at the center of crafting the final health care bill this year, to keep her language in this year's final bill. Inclusion of this language represents a significant commitment on the part of the Senator, and we are very grateful to her for this important step forward for CPMs and for expanded choice for women and families!

As a key member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Cantwell has a limited number of initiatives that she can champion herself, but she has offered to fully support any other Senator who will file MAMA's original provision on the floor of the Senate to require that Medicaid reimburse all CPMs in all settings.

We are proud of and grateful to all of the midwives and mothers in action in Washington State for the successful outreach to their Senator! And we are grateful to all of you who have helped to secure the wide support that the MAMA Campaign and CPMs enjoy in the Senate!

The provision included in the Senate Finance Committee bill will provide a strong legislative platform for further action to secure access to CPMs for all childbearing women, both in the current health care bill and in the years to come. It is interesting to note that a number of states have first secured just a portion of their initial legislative "ask" , and then accomplished their original goal in a subsequent year. In New Hampshire , for example, the midwives went to the legislature to mandate that all insurance carriers in the state reimburse the licensed midwives. That year, a mandate was passed that only reimbursed midwives operating out of licensed birth centers. The following year, the midwives were successful in having the mandate expanded to cover all licensed midwives offering services in all settings.

What is next for MAMA this year?
MAMA remains committed to including our original provision to mandate Medicaid reimbursement for all CPM services, regardless of site of birth, in the health care bills this year! We are in negotiation with Senate Finance Committee offices in the effort to secure a champion to file our amendment on the floor of the Senate. In addition, we have a strategy to leverage our support in both chambers to include our provision in the final bill that will be signed by the President, whatever the outcome in the Senate.

We need your help!
Please keep those letters to your Senators coming!
You never know which letter will take us over the top and into the bill! Write today!

And please keep your dollars coming! You have made possible the most successful fundraising campaign for midwives ever! Now we are asking that you dig just a little deeper to fund us through the end of this legislative session. We have raised $140,000 to date! Washington State donors have been especially generous, accounting for 20% of this amount. We must raise an additional $30,000 in the next few weeks. If you have not given yet, please make a donation today. If you have given, please consider an additional gift today.

Join MAMA in a Webinar about the Campaign next Monday!

Please join the MAMA campaign steering committee for an informational webinar on the MAMA Campaign on Monday, November 23rd from 8-9 PM EST. Register at https://www2. gotomeeting. com/register/ 709957571.
Come learn about our strategy, about exciting new developments in the campaign and about how you can support the Campaign's efforts to secure federal recognition of Certified Professional Midwives. The webinar will also strive to answer questions from supporters, so please submit questions ahead of the webinar by emailing info@mamacampaign. org, subject line "Webinar Question Submission." Click https://www2. gotomeeting. com/register/ 709957571 to register for the webinar.

MAMA thanks you for your support. If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact the campaign at info@mamacampaign. org.


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