FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2019
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REPRESENTATIVE GUILLEN ASPIRES TO LOWER MATERNAL MORTALITY
AUSTIN - State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rural South Texas) is working to lower the maternal mortality rate and improve accessibility to healthcare for low-income and rural Texas mothers. HB 1111 passed the House this week, which Guillen is an author of, and would establish pregnancy medical homes, high-risk maternal care coordinated services pilot programs, and telehealth programs for prenatal and postpartum care in certain areas.
"Resulting from any number of complications that may occur during pregnancy, or in the year following, most maternal deaths can be avoided with proper preventable care,” informed Guillen. “Texas' maternal mortality rate is indicative of our state's lack of adequate, affordable healthcare coverage for many pregnant women and new mothers.”
With over half of the births in Texas covered by Medicaid, the facilities and resources established through HB 1111 would also be covered by the program. Additionally, a provision of the bill intended to support women with low-risk pregnancies in rural areas, the legislation requires the telemedical pilot program be implemented in counties meeting specific population and geographical requirements.
Texas women who were initially granted Medicaid coverage due to a pregnancy currently only remain eligible for two months after giving birth, and therefore, would lose access to the benefits laid out by the legislation. However, another measure Guillen is an author of this session would amend statute to extend Medicaid coverage of new mothers so that they may remain eligible for up to a year after childbirth.
"Through the process of bringing new life into the world, women should not be left at the risk of losing their own simply because of their financial status or location, and no child should ever have to grow-up without their mother,” Guillen concluded.
Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen