I am proud announce that the State has taken great measures to allocate the necessary funding for this program. The 2018 enacted budget offers additional funding for the Nurse-Family Partnership: a nurse home visiting program for first-time pregnant mothers that sends nurses to work one-on-one with the pregnant women to improve prenatal and child-rearing practices through the childs second birthday.
Donor Human Breast Milk
Last year, I advocated for the inclusion of language establishing Medicaid coverage for donor breast milk. I am happy to say that the 2018 state budget includes language requiring private insurance companies to cover donor breast milk. Access to human milk is vital for premature babies due to the higher risks of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Studies have proven that increasing access to breast milk reduces the risk of developing NEC. No mother, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have to be without the necessary resources to protect the health of their child.
First 1,000 Days of Life
To improve outcomes and opportunities for young children, the state budget includes a new initiative to have Medicaid cover expanded access to services for children from birth to age three and their families. The program will develop models for pediatric care, which will ensure their growth and development are on track. It will also create a means of measurement for providers and teachers to assess child development and school readiness for students entering kindergarten.
One of the greatest struggles for breastfeeding mothers is seeking accommodations in order to breastfeed or pump milk. Assembly bill A.6775, which I introduced in the Assembly, would require certain public buildings to establish lactation rooms for mothers and their children. I am pleased that the FY 2018 enacted budget includes this language.
A 15-member maternal mortality review board was proposed to study the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity and to make recommendations to the Department of Health. While it was funded, a structure was not enacted this session.
The Health Committee Chair, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, has introduced new legislation to establish this review board. As a co-sponsor of this legislation, I look forward to working with Assemblyman Gottfried to pass this bill.