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Rep. Howse's bill to improve prenatal and maternal health outcomes takes effect today

September 18, 2020
Stephanie D. Howse News

COLUMBUS– State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today announced that House Bill (HB) 11, Ohio House Democrats’ priority legislation to improve prenatal and maternal health outcomes, is officially effective after being signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine 90 days ago. 

“I remain committed to changing the narrative around health disparities and death among mothers and babies in Ohio, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. HB 11 demonstrates our commitment to fixing a broken healthcare system and our continued fight to ensure mothers, babies and future generations can be safe, healthy and thrive in the state of Ohio,” said Rep. Howse.

This legislation will:

  • Require the Medicaid program and Medicaid managed care organizations to cover certain tobacco cessation medications and services;
  • Require the Department of Health to establish a grant program for the provision of group-based prenatal health care services to pregnant Medicaid recipients residing in areas of the state with high preterm birth rates;
  • Require the Department of Medicaid to establish a dental hygiene program under which pregnant Medicaid recipients may receive two dental cleanings a year;
  • Require the Department of Health to develop educational materials concerning lead based paint and to distribute the materials to families that participate in its Help Me Grow Program and reside in homes built before 1979.

According to a report by the Ohio Department of Health in 2018, Black infants in Ohio die at more than two-and-a-half times the rate of white infants. HB 11 takes effect as Ohio House Democratic lawmakers continue to call for meaningful action to address racial health disparities, including the passage of HCR 31 to declare racism a public health crisis.  

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