Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has announced another initiative that will be included in his state budget.
The “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies”, $28 million investment is aimed at improving women’s access to preventative care such as cancer screenings, health exams, STI testing, supporting healthier pregnancies and births and addressing disparities in maternal and child health.
In 2016, which was the most recent data available, there were 415 infant deaths in Wisconsin. Data from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists shows that Wisconsin is facing a shortage of OB-GYN’s particularly in smaller, rural communities around the state.
Governor Tony Evers commented on the new initiative;
“We can’t have healthy communities without healthy women and babies. This is why my budget will connect the dots and increase access and coverage as well as create innovative programs to ensure quality health care for women, and healthy beginnings for our children.”
The proposal will expand the Well Women Program and bring Planned Parenthood back into a trusted healthcare provider through an increase in the Women’s Health Block Grant and changes to Title V and X eligibility.
The proposal also includes initiatives to have additional funding for the Family Foundations Home Visiting Program, a visiting program for mothers at high risk for a poor birth outcome and increased funding to address racial disparities in maternal and child services.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin commented on the new initiative saying;
“We all can agree that we want healthier communities and families, and that starts with making sure all women, regardless of their races, income or zip code, can get the care they need.”
(Local 5 has provided Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin’s statement here)
Evers will also seek a waiver in the CHIP program to increase post-partum coverage for women up to a year. Currently, Medicaid covers pregnant women for 60 days after the birth of the child.