Burgess, Capps Introduce Legislation to Provide Maternity Health Care to Women in Need

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Washington, Apr 3 | Jill Shatzen (202-225-7772) | comments
Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), a practicing OB/GYN for nearly 30 years, and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), who worked as a nurse and public health advocate for 20 years, today introduced legislation that would provide access to maternity health care for women in need.
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Washington, D.C. – Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), a practicing OB/GYN for nearly 30 years, and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), who worked as a nurse and public health advocate for 20 years, today introduced legislation that would provide access to maternity health care for women in need. 

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) provides loan repayment to the tune of $50,000 for two years of service to physicians and other health professional who agree to work in underserved areas, known as Health Professional Shortage Areas. These areas are often urban and rural locations where there are not enough health care providers to serve the basic needs of the community.

The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, H.R. 4385, would allow maternity care to be included as a fourth Health Professional Shortage Area, thereby incentivizing physicians, nurse midwives and other maternity care providers to fill the gaps that currently exist in maternity health care for pregnant women in need. 

The program has been proven to work for the three areas already designated by the NHSC as Health Professional Shortage Areas: dental, mental health and primary care. 

“This legislation will be a step in identifying areas of need and addressing these shortcomings in our health care system, so that American women and their families are able to get the care they need,” Burgess said. “Furthermore, as a physician, I understand the long hours and hefty loans that come with being a doctor. This legislation would ease the financial burden for hard-working physicians who have pledged to provide the best care for their patients.”

“I am proud to have co-authored this important, common-sense bill because as a nurse, I know firsthand the critical importance of providing quality health care to women who are pregnant, especially in underserved areas,” Capps said. “This bipartisan bill would go a long way in providing access to this type of care for women and their families, while also ensuring that quality, hardworking medical care professionals caring for these families are adequately incentivized to work in these rural and urban areas that need them.”

The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act is supported by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives. 

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