House Bill Addresses Infant Mortality

[June 24, 2019]

The Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation last week that addresses infant mortality. The goal of HB 11, sponsored by State Reps. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland), is to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of the mother and child.

Specifically, the bipartisan legislation would:

  • Require Ohio Medicaid to cover federally recognized tobacco cessation medications and services.
  • Provide $6 million to the Ohio Department of Health to give grants to health care facilities, medical practices and others to begin programs that encourage early prenatal care.
  • Provide $5 million for pregnant Medicaid recipients to receive twice-a-year dental visits. Poor dental health and disease may be associated with preterm and low birth weight, among other problems with babies.
  • Require the Ohio Department of Health to develop educational materials on lead-based paint and distribute them to people who live in homes built before 1979 and to families who participate in the state’s Help Me Grow Program.

“House Bill 11 will make a difference in reducing infant mortality in Ohio,” said House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford). “Keeping the mother and child healthy in a pregnancy is extremely important and I’m glad we were able to bring this great legislation to the floor.”

The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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