Senate plans to revive postpartum Medicaid coverage bill

Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 9:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -The push continues from advocates wanting to see postpartum Medicaid coverage extended from 60 days to a year.

Senate Bill 2033 died last week after the House failed to take it up before the latest deadline. However, the Senate is ready to throw the legislation another lifeline.

Amanda Furdge had Medicaid when she delivered her first child. Her experience is one she hopes politicians will stop and think about.

“60 days is just I don’t know, it’s just like a number they just pull out of the sky,” noted Furdge. “I don’t understand it.”

Furdge says she felt like she was just getting started in that time frame.

“After having a baby, you’re so focused on the baby; you ignore,” she explained. “I was suffering postpartum depression and didn’t even know. And when I did start to recognize what was going on with me, because you’ve got to think about what kind of resources can I get... childcare, just all of the nuances that have to be settled before you can see about yourself as a mom. By that time, 60 days is up. 60 days is over. And you’re on your own, you fending for yourself.”

Jackee Huntley already qualified for coverage due to a disability. But she says she’s an example of the problems that can arise postpartum, well past that 60 day timeline.

“I had to go back into the hospital when she was six months old because I need it for hip replacement,” described Huntley. “Because the pregnancy softened the bones up, and my hip weighed too much, and I needed to have surgery because of it.”

Dozens of groups have been putting pressure on Speaker Philip Gunn to suspend the rules and bring up the bill for a vote. He hasn’t signaled he’ll do that. But Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann says his chamber is finding a way to revive it, and he’ll work on getting the Speaker on board.

“I’d like to appeal back to his Christian values,” noted Hosemann. “The Speaker’s always had a very soft heart in these kinds of matters. And I’m hoping that given a chance, he’ll look at it again. It won’t be tied up in some tax bill. Those are not the same. You know, there’s no quid pro quo. They should never be.”

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