As lawmakers prepare to address Brian Kemp’s draconian budget cuts in the 2020 legislative session, a House study committee has revealed yet another impact of Kemp’s extreme policies: failure to take much-needed action on Georgia’s maternal mortality rate.
The AJC reports that a legislative committee studying Georgia’s “troubling record of maternal deaths” found that “the state could save lives” by extending Medicaid coverage to vulnerable mothers to one year after giving birth. Unfortunately, the AJC reports that the timing “could hardly be worse” as the Legislature faces Kemp’s extreme budget cuts, and Kemp’s continued refusal to fully expand Medicaid to half a million Georgians.
“Georgians in need are suffering and women are dying because Brian Kemp would rather slash budgets than protect essential services and fully expand Medicaid,” said Democratic Party of Georgia spokeswoman Maggie Chambers. “Georgia has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the country and Brian Kemp’s extreme agenda and budget cuts are putting actual lives at risk. Right now, we’re seeing the impact of Kemp’s war on healthcare and Georgians are the ones suffering.”
Georgia already has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, a problem which disproportionately affects minority populations living in rural parts of the state. Currently, low-income pregnant women in Georgia only qualify for Medicaid coverage for up to 60 days after giving birth. According to NPR, “the study committee’s report says that can leave pregnant women with many of their medical needs uncovered.”
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