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  • The Case for All Insurance Policies
    but not for pregnancy related expenses And this isn t unusual Pennsylvania along with 31 other states does not require individual or small group policies to cover maternity care Pregnancy or a previous caesarian section delivery can be considered a pre existing condition in determining eligibility for coverage As a medical historian I know that the first studies showing that prenatal care resulted in healthier mothers and healthier babies appeared about 100 years ago From 1921 to 1929 the federal government through the Sheppard Towner Act funded maternal and child health centers many of them in rural areas in response to findings that 80 percent of pregnant women did not receive adequate prenatal care A White House Conference on Child Health and Protection held in 1933 identified a lack of prenatal care as one the two most critical factors in maternal mortality During World War II the government stepped in again and through the Emergency Medical And Infant Care Act funded services for the wives of servicemen in the lowest pay grades As prenatal and delivery services improved in the second half of the twentieth century thanks to many medical advances such as the availability of antibiotics maternal and infant death rates declined very rapidly But while we ve known for over a century that prenatal and maternity care is good for mothers and for babies we haven t succeeded in delivering those services to all the women who need them Over 11 percent of women in Pennsylvania are uninsured We incur larger and longer term costs when women forego vital medical services during their pregnancies and deliveries putting themselves and their babies at risk Women know that and they do seek care but sometimes they put off doing so because they lack insurance coverage and fear the expense Almost

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/TheCaseforAllInsurancePolicies.html (2016-05-02)
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  • State Must Update Maternity Coverage - October11, 2011
    Maternal Mortality Across the World Bruce Flannery 54 Activist on AIDS Other Issues Perceiving Pregnancy in Climate of Fear Camden Historian Researches Babies Across the Decades Mother Knows Best A Chance to Do Good and Save Philadelphia Money Workers Need Paid Sick Days New Policy Outlaws Shackling of Women Prisoners During Birth Remembering Tina Bela Benefit for Mom and Wife Blues Hearings A Chance to Weigh In On a Complex Merger Cure for Recidivism Will Smith s Mom Make a Difference New Century Trust Willing Hands Award Fewer Babies US AIDS Policy Harrisburg Patriot News October 11 2011 State Must Update Maternity Coverage Rosemarie Halt Letter to the Editor Every month thousands of women in Pennsylvania are shocked to learn that they do not have maternity coverage as part of their insurance Pennsylvania does not require individual or small employer group health plans to provide maternity benefits This regulatory and legislative oversight has resulted in regional birthing crises soaring health care costs associated with emergency maternity care and record rates of uninsured and underinsured Pennsylvania mothers Because Pennsylvania neglects to provide for maternity coverage in state insurance insurance companies can cherry pick the services they offer women in their plans

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/StateMustUpdateMaternityCoverage-October112011.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Pregnancy Drug's Sharp Price Hike Called 'Greed'>
    division of maternal fetal medicine for West Penn Allegheny Health System where 60 to 80 women a year use the drug Insurance companies may be happy to approve it if it was 250 to 300 per person but they may take a second look at it if it s a 25 000 to 30 000 charge It s estimated that the total cost of the drug during a pregnancy could reach 30 000 High risk women women who have had difficulty bringing a prior birth to full term can take the drug for up to 20 weeks during pregnancy though some take it for less than that When Dr Thomas first heard about the price increase Thursday he said I thought it must have been a misinterpretation of the cost You can t describe this as anything other than greed he said KV Pharmaceutical said in a statement that it has made significant investments to advance Makena through the FDA approval process and make it available to patients who need it and have a significant obligation in the form of a large ongoing clinical study The company has also made a significant investment in developing a network of specialty pharmacies specialty distributors and a comprehensive customer support center While the list price is 1 500 the company said the actual cost to patients should be substantially lower than that depending on their coverage It also said it would assist low and no income women in paying for the drug at little or no cost Whether or not women in Western Pennsylvania will have the same access to the drug as they do now is not clear The region s two leading health insurers Highmark and UPMC Health Plan said they wouldn t know for several months whether they will cover Makena Until then requests for coverage will be dealt with on a case by case basis officials at both companies said UPMC Health Plan said it currently covers the generic version 17P Highmark said it does not because we consider it to be experimental said spokesman Aaron Billger However some women contacted by the Post Gazette did say Highmark had been covering their use of 17P The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare which administers the state s Medicaid program said the drug would be covered once the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say the drug is covered by a rebate agreement KV Pharmaceutical said Makena is already covered by such an agreement but the state could not confirm that What bothers doctors pharmacists and patients about the cost is that Makena is merely a rebranded version of a drug that had been in use for 50 years but had gone out of use 11 years ago earning the orphan drug status Before it became an orphan drug it was used for disorders of the adrenal glands or the ovaries But it found a new use after a 2003 National Institutes of Health funded study found that only 36

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/PregnancyDrugsSharpPriceHikeCalledGreed.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Mennonites' informal lifeline for jailed mothers>
    Philadelphia s jail for women about 12 to 20 inmates out of an average of about 650 are pregnant The mothers fathers are generally not in the picture usually decide who will care for their children That biblical verse motivates the 30 families living mainly in Lancaster Cumberland and Lebanon Counties who make up the Mennonite Caregivers Program We do not want to draw attention to ourselves but rather give all glory and honor to God said Carol Wise 45 of New Holland Pa on behalf of all the families She and her husband currently foster two children Mothers learn of the Mennonites largely from other prisoners making use of the program The Riverside chaplain and a Philadelphia nonprofit that works in the prison Maternity Care Coalition s MOMobile assisted women interested in Mennonite help We didn t endorse we didn t refer said Bette Begleiter the coalition s deputy executive director MOMobile staff did answer questions and help fill out forms Each family keeps records on its foster children Wise said and the birth mother has a copy of the custody agreement The foster families are not paid but they may be able to get Medicaid and baby formula through WIC the federal supplemental nutrition program Mervin and Janice Hoover who have a dairy farm in Denver Pa care for two girls of Philadelphia inmates a 3 year old they call Dearie the Hoovers did not have permission from the birth mother to allow her real name to be used and Destiny 2 Both are African American We feel we can give the children lots of love and a stable life said Mervin 33 As their foster parents talked Destiny in a traditional Mennonite dress grabbed one book and then another climbing on and off the lap of Wise who had settled into an armchair Dearie shy with an unfamiliar visitor in the house buried her head in Janice s lap At the Hoovers with electricity and phone service but no TV or radio the girls read play with toys or go outside while Mervin works nearby Dearie feeds the calves The Mennonite families are diligent in bringing the children for visits birth mothers said They send pictures and ask the mothers opinions about their child s care a requirement of the custody agreement I got so many pictures Manson said I felt I was a part of seeing her grow up even though I was in prison The fostered children live in devout Christian households and see the faith practiced in everyday life Wise said But the program s aim isn t to recruit children for the Mennonites or necessarily to be adopted she said According to the custody agreement the families and birth mothers mutually agree to return the children to their birth mothers if Mother is ready to take care and custody of the child The Hoovers had prepared themselves to return Dearie a couple of times But according to Janice Hoover the mother said she

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/Mennonitesinformallifelineforjailedmothers.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Michelle Obama's Support of Breastfeeding is No Slippery Slope to a 'Nanny State'>
    medical experts applauded pointing to the voluminous data supporting the importance of human milk for babies While critics alleged that the government would be buying breast pumps tax experts pointed out that this was not a direct government purchase but rather allowed the cost of pumps and other supplies to be reimbursed from Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts using pre tax dollars or to be listed as an itemized medical expense once those expenses exceeded 7 5 percent of adjusted gross income Economic experts noted that the minimal costs to the government of such expenditures might well be met by lower costs for the Women Infants Children WIC program of the United States Department of Agriculture s Food and Nutrition Service the biggest single purchaser of infant formula in the United States Supporters of the ruling failed to sway individuals who believed that the federal government was embarking upon a new and dangerous path They might be surprised to learn that if the definition of a nanny state is one that promotes sound public health practices including breastfeeding the federal government has taken this position for nearly a century And they might be equally shocked to find out that for the past century ordinary Americans eagerly sought advice about pregnancy infant care and childcare from the federal government To nurse her baby is the first duty of every mother proclaimed the 1913 pamphlet Prenatal Care published by the U S Children s Bureau Founded in 1912 during the administration of President Taft and housed in the Department of Labor the Children s Bureau s mission was to investigate and report upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people A key aim was the reduction of infant and child mortality Soon after its creation the Children s Bureau began producing inexpensive easy to read advice pamphlets In 1914 Mrs Max West author of Prenatal Care produced Infant Care a book that has been revised many times was freely distributed by members of Congress to constituents and scooped up by millions of mothers who shared it widely It remains in print and is the best selling publication of the U S Government Printing Office The Children s Bureau maintained a steadfast commitment to promoting breastfeeding In 1940 for example it published a four page pamphlet Mother Nurse Your Baby which offered detailed advice and was reissued several times According to an official history of the Children s Bureau by 1955 the agency distributed over 34 6 million copies of Infant Care Clearly Americans welcomed advice about raising babies and had no objections to the government promotion of breastfeeding or other measure designed to insure the health of babies In recent years with growing numbers of new mothers in the labor force government breast feeding advice began incorporating information on pumping and storing breast milk A 12 book Spanish and English language series Healthy Start Grow Smart offering advice for newborns

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/MichelleObamasSupportofBreastfeedingisNoSlipperySlopetoaNannyState.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Sick of your company's sick day policies?>
    PA Bill to Limit Shackling of Pregnant Women Advances The Problems with Shackling Giving Birth in PA Prisons Maternal Mortality Across the World Bruce Flannery 54 Activist on AIDS Other Issues Perceiving Pregnancy in Climate of Fear Camden Historian Researches Babies Across the Decades Mother Knows Best A Chance to Do Good and Save Philadelphia Money Workers Need Paid Sick Days New Policy Outlaws Shackling of Women Prisoners During Birth Remembering Tina Bela Benefit for Mom and Wife Blues Hearings A Chance to Weigh In On a Complex Merger Cure for Recidivism Will Smith s Mom Make a Difference New Century Trust Willing Hands Award Fewer Babies US AIDS Policy The Philadelphia Business Journal February 28th 2011 Sick of Your Company s Sick Day Policies John George Reporter The Maternity Care Coalition is planning a rally Tuesday morning in support of the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act The bill would allow employees to earn a minimum number of paid sick days each year to address their own health needs or the health needs of their families Specifically the proposed law states employees would be able to earn a minimum of one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked up to a minimum of 72 hours per year or nine paid sick days per year For small businesses those with 10 employees or less employees could earn up to a minimum of 40 hours of sick time per year or five paid sick days per year The bill includes a provision that employees cannot begin using the sick time they have worked for 30 calendar days The Philadelphia based Maternity Care Coalition a maternal and child health advocacy group believes the measure is long overdue Two out of every five workers in Philadelphia including many who work for

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/Sickofyourcompanyssickdaypolicies.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Abandoning Women on Abortion>
    Activist on AIDS Other Issues Perceiving Pregnancy in Climate of Fear Camden Historian Researches Babies Across the Decades Mother Knows Best A Chance to Do Good and Save Philadelphia Money Workers Need Paid Sick Days New Policy Outlaws Shackling of Women Prisoners During Birth Remembering Tina Bela Benefit for Mom and Wife Blues Hearings A Chance to Weigh In On a Complex Merger Cure for Recidivism Will Smith s Mom Make a Difference New Century Trust Willing Hands Award Fewer Babies US AIDS Policy Daily News February 16 2011 Abandoning women on abortion Janet Golden Professor of History at Rutgers University MCC Public Policy Committee member NEWS FLASH Women get pregnant Maybe you already knew that but it s possible your state senator doesn t State Senate Bill 3 proposes to outlaw the provision of all abortion services in any health insurance offered by the state exchange And there s more Insurance companies are not required to offer family planning services Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act states develop exchanges a marketplace where individuals receiving federal subsidies can buy standardized health insurance The exchanges are a way to provide more people with health insurance and lower costs by expanding the risk pool Under this plan states have a lot of leeway in establishing the plans The way SB 3 is written there will soon be three categories of commonwealth citizens men women and people who are or might become pregnant sometimes known as women of childbearing age That third group will have many of their most important health care decisions made for them by elected officials Try imagining legislation that prevents for example any insurance company covering medical care for prostate or testicular cancer That wouldn t get too far But anything having to do with women s

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/AbandoningWomenonAbortion.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Hospital Maternity Wards are Closing Across the US>
    will be out of work in early February when the hospital proceeds with plans to close its birthing facilities The number of maternity wards that are closing across the country are hard to track But a Google Internet search shows the flashing lights of protests and outcries in numerous U S communities From New Jersey to Washington state in urban and rural areas maternity services are at risk In 2008 about 4 2 million infants were born in the U S down slightly from the 4 3 million the year before not a sufficient number to explain the closings Major explanations are high medical malpractice premiums in this specialty and a rising dependence on Medicaid reimbursement which cover on average 88 percent of the actual costs Health Care Coverage Decreasing Amid a tough recession the numbers of women of childbearing age who lack private health care coverage rose by 1 3 million between 2008 and 2009 according to a September 2010 report by the Guttmacher Institute a New York based reproductive health researcher In 2009 22 percent of all women of childbearing age were uninsured and almost 15 percent were on Medicaid according to Guttmacher Chicago meanwhile provides an overall indication of the rising level of need for public medicine The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council a hospital trade association says hospitals in the Windy City provided 1 2 billion in free care in 2008 a 16 percent jump from 2007 Those overall cost pressures are particularly hard on maternity care In Pennsylvania where approximately two thirds of births are covered by medical assistance and the Medicaid reimbursement rate is below the national average at 82 percent 39 hospitals have closed their maternity wards since 1997 That leaves the remaining wards bursting at the seams and women suffering delayed care In

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/HospitalMaternityWardsareClosingAcrosstheUS.html (2016-05-02)
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