66 TX Groups Urge Legislature to Pass Maternal Health Coverage Bill

NOTE: The statement has been updated to now include 67 organizations.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Peter Clark, pclark@txchildren.org, 512-473-2274

Austin — Today, 66 Texas organizations called on legislative leaders to pass House Bill 133 by Rep. Toni Rose to allow mothers to remain enrolled in Medicaid insurance for 12 months after pregnancy rather than losing their insurance after just two months. HB 133 — one of the high-profile bills in the Healthy Families package outlined by House Speaker Dade Phelan — passed the Texas House but has not been scheduled for a Senate hearing yet.


Noting that HB 133 “would offer comprehensive care for new moms, leverage Texas’ existing provider network, and allow the state to draw down federal funds,” the statement from the 66 groups says:

Childbirth, one of life’s greatest joys, can turn into tragedy when medical issues or pregnancy complications arise. Maternal mortality is just the tip of the iceberg. Many more Texas moms face medical issues and complications in the year following pregnancy — such as postpartum depression, cardiac arrest, infection, and extreme blood loss or hemorrhage. These issues often lead to extra hospital stays, long-term health problems for mother and baby, and higher costs to Medicaid and the state.

The statement was signed by medical organizations such as Texas Medical Association and Texas Pediatric Society; business groups such as the Lubbock and Longview chambers of commerce; women’s organizations such as the Texas Women’s Foundation and Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition; and a number of other groups, such as Texans Care for Children, United Ways of Texas, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.


“We’re thrilled to see groups from all across Texas supporting the bill,” said Adriana Kohler, Policy Director for Texans Care of Children. “By passing this bill, lawmakers would take a critical step to prevent maternal deaths, address postpartum depression, and support healthy babies and moms.”

Highlighting the need for postpartum health coverage, a recent report by Mathematica found that for one year of childbirths in Texas, failure to treat maternal mental health conditions such as postpartum depression creates an estimated $2.2 billion in societal costs from conception through five years postpartum. Failing to treat postpartum depression increases the risks of children growing up with health, developmental, and behavioral challenges.

By providing a year of health coverage after childbirth, HB 133 would also implement the top recommendation of the state’s Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee.