Urgent Birth Center Legislation!

1 December 2008 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

OK, all of you awesome MFOM members, I know you know how to call state legislators. It’s time to call Washington now. This is important, especially given the unknown future of the North Shore Birth Center.

 

American Association of Birth Centers
 Legislative Alert  

 
We are  writing to ask you to contact your Federal Representatives and Senators–it is now or never to mandate the Birth Center facility fee in Medicaid!
 
Our Goal – 50 calls this week!
 
As you know, we are working hard to mandate the birth center facility fee in Medicaid.  The Texas case against Center for Medicaid Services (when they said they would stop paying the federal match for birth centers) is just one battle. The only permanent solution for us in the Medicaid program and with other insurers is to pass legislation making birth centers an official mandated provider.
 
The Texas case will not solve this problem!  It is clear that even if we win, CMS will write new rules that will effectively shut down birth centers all over.  Now, we need legislation to stop them.  We may already have missed our chance to tag our issue on to the next major piece of legislation–the Economic Stimulus package.  But we still have a chance with the Children’s Health Bill (S-CHIP), but ONLY if Congress hears from you and your consumers.

Act Now!
Each and every one of you must take action to put birth centers on the Congressional radar. The birth center community must take the lead on this–Congress won’t take any action for us unless it hears from its constituents. AABC’s lobbyinst Karen Fennell is busy making Congressional visits, but they are saying they have not heard from you–so it must not be important . . .
 
Right now, Rep. Susan Davis (CA) will sponsor the bill and Rep. Lois Capps (CA) will co-sponsors, but we need many more–including Republicans so it has bi-partisan support. 
 
Call your Federal Representatives and Senators.
Find out who they are.

    

If you have any trouble making contact, call Karen Fennell–she will help. Use the linked flyer (“Pregnant Women’s Access to Care Threatened“) as a reference for  help with talking points and:

     1.     Tell them you are a (midwife or student midwife, staff person or client)  that cares that birth centers provide access for Medicaid women.  Other birth centers have already closed due to lack of facility reimbursement.
     2.     
On the House side, ask Democrats to co-sponsor our bill which would add Birth Centers to Medicaid covered services. (Our bill does not have a number yet). Ask House Republicans to be a sponsor or lead.  On the Senate side, we need leads and sponsors in both parties.
     3.     
Please notify Karen of your calls.  Provide her with the representative’s name, the staff person’s name, and any questions or information she should be aware of.  Karen’s contact info:  tel: 301-830-3910 – email: karenfennell50@yahoo.com.  Please also cc me on these emails: 
jkalliman@yahoo.com (tel: 423-253-4455).

This is urgent if we want to sustain birth centers in the United States. Please call today. Remember, this is your survival we are working for–we need 50 calls this week!  

Please pass this on to your Friends of the Birth Center groups and ask them to call too.
 
Sincerely,


Jill Alliman, CNM, MSN
Legislative Chair 
American Association of Birth Centers

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North Shore Birth Center Update Save NSBC Update

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