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Energy and Commerce Committee Passes 3 Bills to Address Public Health Crises

November 20th, 2019

Legislation Tackles Youth Tobacco Epidemic and Maternal Mortality

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) advanced three bills out of the full Energy and Commerce Committee to address the youth tobacco epidemic and the high rate of maternal mortality.

The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act extends restrictions on tobacco marketing, sale, flavors, and fees to e-cigarettes, while also making the landmark change of raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 years.

The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act funds and authorizes data-driven approaches to inform health care professionals about the best practices and protocols to manage a mother’s care in an emergency and improves the quality of care that rural moms receive. The U.S. is the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world. More than 700 American women die and 50,000 women are severely injured due to complications related to childbirth every year, with the CDC estimating that as much as 60% of the deaths could be prevented. Black women in the U.S. face even greater dangers because they are three times more likely to die from childbirth than white women.

The Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services (MOMS) Act gives states the option to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage from two months to one year. Today, new mothers are thrown off of Medicaid two months postpartum.

“These bills address some of the worst public health crises in America, namely our high maternal mortality rate and the youth tobacco epidemic,” Chairwoman Eshoo said. “My Subcommittee advanced legislation to stem the growth of youth tobacco use by addressing smoking and vaping as the leading causes of preventable death and illness in the U.S. Two of our bills improve care for new mothers and address a national shame, that 700 American women die and 50,000 women are severely injured due to complications related to childbirth every year. I look forward to the full House voting to put an end to these public health crises in our country.”

To watch Chairwoman Eshoo’s opening statement, click HERE.

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