U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler places a hand on her two-month-old daughter Isana Beutler while reading to children at the Camas Public Library July 30. The night before she held a telephone town hall.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the advancement of two bipartisan bills she’s co-sponsoring to improve maternal health care and reduce maternal mortality rates in a press release last week. 

The bills were approved by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee this week.

“I’m pleased to see an increasing number of my colleagues get behind bipartisan legislation to tackle the maternal mortality crisis from all sides, including these two bills focused on supporting mothers who have encountered economic hardship, and those who live in rural areas,” Herrera Beutler said in the press release. “The progress of these solutions is encouraging, and I’ll continue to advocate for congressional action that saves more mothers’ lives in Southwest Washington and across the country.”

The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019 takes steps to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity by increasing access to health services for women in rural areas, expands tele-health grants to include maternal health providers, and improves the quality of care and training for maternal health providers to improve birth outcomes and save lives during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, according to a press release from the congresswoman’s office. 

The bill also creates a grant program to establish rural obstetric networks aimed at improving birth outcomes and reducing maternal mortality for Native American and Alaskan Inuit populations, two minority groups who face a higher rate of maternal deaths, according to the press release. 

The second bill to address the nation’s maternal health crisis is the bipartisan Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services (MOMS) Act of 2019, which passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee last week.

The next step for both bills will be a vote by the full U.S. House of Representatives.

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