Each year, Congress must pass funding bills to keep the government running and fund federal agencies, including critical public health programs. This week, after months of negotiations, Congress enacted a funding bill for Fiscal Year 2022. This 2,000+ page "omnibus" included not only key ACOG funding priorities, it also included major legislative wins reflecting years of ACOG advocacy— including the foundational bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act.
Key ACOG funding priorities in the bill include:
- $35 million increase for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant
- $20 million increase for the CDC Safe Motherhood programs, which include support for state maternal mortality review committees and perinatal quality collaboratives
- $6 million increase for HRSA's State Maternal Health Innovation grant program
- $3 million increase to support the work of the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) program
- Additional investment in maternal mental health initiatives, including increased funding for screening and treatment for maternal depression and increased support for the Maternal Mental Health Hotline
- Critical investments at NIH to support maternal health research, including a $30 million increase in funding for research on maternal mortality and morbidity through the Implementing a Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) initiative
Also included in the bill is the bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, a longstanding ACOG advocacy priority and multi-time Congressional Leadership Conference ask. The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act authorizes programs and policies critical to moving the needle on maternal mortality, including the AIM program, implicit bias training programs, investment in increased care coordination, and support for increased access to obstetric care in rural communities. Thanks to the sustained advocacy of ACOG’s members, this foundational, evidence-based bill will now become law.
The bill also includes a long-overdue reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, an extension of the pandemic era telehealth flexibilities in the Medicare program, and an extension of the increased Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for U.S. territories.
Of note, ACOG is disappointed with the flat funding of the Title X Family Planning Program, representing the eighth consecutive year of stagnant funding for this critical safety net program.
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