Fighting to expand care access and improve health outcomes for all

Fighting to expand care access and improve health outcomes for all


To make coverage affordable for working families, in 2019 I introduced the Health Care Affordability Act, which lowers out-of-pocket health insurance premiums by cutting taxes for people who buy plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This legislation offers more generous tax credits to people who purchase these plans and ensures no one would be forced to pay more than 8.5% of their household income on premiums. That’s real, significant savings for families, who currently pay up to 20% or more of their monthly income on premium costs. I was proud to see this legislation included in the American Rescue Plan and signed into law in May. Since then, 2.5 million Americans have enrolled in health coverage, and families are saving an average of over $40 per person per month on their coverage. We now must make it permanent so families can thrive long past the pandemic.

However, coverage alone does not ensure optimal health outcomes in our nation. The U.S. continues to lead high-income countries in maternal death rates, and at the only rate that is rising. The maternal mortality rate is significantly higher among African-Americans, who are three to four times more likely than white Americans to die from pregnancy-related complications. Other people of color also suffer from elevated rates of mortality and morbidity in childbirth. The pandemic has further exacerbated maternal health risks facing pregnant people, who face higher risks of severe illness from COVID-19.

When I got to Congress in 2019, I launched the Black Maternal Health Caucus with Rep. Alma Adams (D-North Carolina) to raise awareness in Congress about our nation’s maternal health crisis and develop policy solutions to save moms’ lives. This year, I was proud to lead our caucus in reintroducing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, a suite of 12 bills that includes bipartisan policies to address every driver of adverse maternal health outcomes. At the heart of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act is the principle that in America, every family has a right to thrive, a principle that begins with a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth.

To realize this promise for every mother, the Momnibus invests in community-based organizations, provides funding to grow and diversify the perinatal workforce, improves data collection processes, expands access to maternal mental health care, and strengthens programs to address social determinants of health like housing, nutrition and environmental risks.

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address gaps in our healthcare system to expand access to high-quality, affordable healthcare and to improve health outcomes for every American. The Health Care Affordability Act and Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act are necessary investments that will save lives and support individuals, families, and communities across the U.S. for years to come. I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House and Senate, as well as the Biden administration, to get this legislation signed into law.


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