Florida Health Justice Project Urges Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Support Extending Medicaid Coverage 12 Months for New Mothers
One Step Further Toward Improving Healthcare for Women
Media Contact: Alison Yager, J.D. Florida Health Justice Project Executive
Director; firstname.lastname@example.org; 646-322-8111
(Miami, Florida)—May 20, 2021 – The Florida legislature did the right thing by
passing a budget that provides funding to extend Medicaid for postpartum
women from 60 days to a full year after giving birth.
The Florida budget sent to Governor DeSantis provides $239.8 million to extend
postpartum coverage to 12 months or 365 days under Florida’s Medicaid
program. Governor DeSantis should announce his support for this life-saving
measure that is critical to improving the health of women and their babies.
“When mothers suffer, so do their children,” said Alison Yager, Executive Director
of Florida Health Justice Project. “We can and must do better. The legislature
has recognized as such with their commitment to extend Medicaid’s postpartum
coverage. We look forward to the Governor signing this into law.”
Florida Health Justice Project, a non-partisan, non-profit healthcare advocacy
organization, led the statewide coalition seeking to extend Medicaid for
postpartum women as part of a campaign to improve health access and rectify
Florida ranks 49thth in the nation for women’s access to health care. The March
of Dimes gave Florida a D+ in its 2020 Report Card for maternal and infant health
“Healthier mothers equal healthier babies. Extending Medicaid for new mothers
is the single, most important change that Florida can implement to have the
greatest impact on maternal deaths and birth outcomes,” said Cathy Timuta,
CEO, Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions. “By providing continued
access to medical care and treatment services, mothers with chronic health
issues can continue to get the healthcare they need.”
By extending Medicaid, new mothers will have access to affordable health care
to treat chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, substance use
disorders and depression. When parents have health coverage, their children
are more likely to receive check-ups and preventive care. For example, treating
maternal depression, which does not end when coverage currently ends, at just
60 days postpartum, has positive impacts on the cognitive and social-emotional
development of children that carry through childhood.
"Medicaid recipients fall into postpartum depression because we don’t have the
resources for care after we have babies" said Lanieyah Setticase, a Birth Justice
Doula with Southern Birth Justice Network. "I tried to get a therapist once. It
was too expensive, and Medicaid would only cover it if I was a domestic violence
Improving the mental health of children has been a priority of the first lady of
Florida, Casey DeSantis. Extending Medicaid dovetails with her work by allowing
moms to get the mental healthcare they need in the postpartum year so that their
babies can thrive.
“Many Floridians go without needed healthcare to make ends meet financially;
new mothers put their own needs behind those of their children,” said Beth
Berglin, Director of Public Policy for the United Way of Miami-Dade. “This
critical extension of health coverage will allow them to keep their health a priority
while they continue to care for their newborns.”
The Florida Health Justice Project eagerly awaits the Governor’s signature on the
extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage, ensuring critical coverage as an
investment in thriving families.
Florida Health Justice Project (FHJP) recognizes that access to quality and
affordable health care is a human right and engages in comprehensive advocacy
to expand healthcare access and promote health equity for the most vulnerable,
including expanding Medicaid, a move that would provide coverage to 1.1 million
Floridians, and bring in billions of federal dollars under the American Rescue
# # #
Sign-up For Email Updates
The Florida Health Justice Project, a nonprofit organization, recognizes that access to quality and affordable health care is a human right and engages in comprehensive advocacy to expand healthcare access and promote health equity for vulnerable Floridians.
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE WITHIN THE STATE AT 1-800-435-7352 . IT CAN ALSO BE FOUND AT WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE STATE.