Attempts to extend postpartum coverage fail in the House for the second year in a row. 

The Mississippi House declined to take up the Medicaid postpartum coverage extension bill, SB 2033, today. As the bill is subject to a midnight deadline, this action effectively killed the bill.

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The legislation offered by Senator Kevin Blackwell and backed by numerous Mississippi organizations would have extended postpartum coverage for women on Medicaid up to 12 months.

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“I’m very disappointed that the House for the second year in a row has denied postpartum care to women. While infants are still covered under Medicaid mothers lose coverage after 60 days,” said Blackwell. “All this bill would’ve done was continue that coverage for a total of 12 months. The claim by the speaker that this bill is Medicaid expansion is absolutely a false narrative. Not one additional woman would be added to the Medicaid roles. All this does is extend from 60 days to 12 months postpartum care for mothers in an effort to reduce maternal mortality.”

While 20 other states have passed postpartum coverage extensions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Speaker Philip Gunn told the Associated Press that he did not support legislation that looked anything like Medicaid expansion.

This is the second year in a row the language for an extension to postpartum coverage was killed in the House. Last year, the same language was added to the Medicaid Technical Amendments bill and largely approved by Senate members, but did not make it out of the House during the final deliberations.