Post-partum healthcare bill offers expansion of benefits for Wisconsin mothers

In Missouri, 61 women died while pregnant or in the first year postpartum, a statistic Governor...
In Missouri, 61 women died while pregnant or in the first year postpartum, a statistic Governor Mike Parson vowed to address at this week’s State of the State.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Wisconsin state legislators are working to get more help to mothers who deal with post-partum complications.

Senate Bill 110 expands access to healthcare and will offer coverage for medical expenses for up to a year, in comparison to the 60 days currently offered in the Badger State. The bill passed in the state senate and is now headed to the assembly floor for a vote.

Annmae Minichiello is a mother of two, a pharmacist with UW-Health and volunteers for the American Heart Association.

“So my first daughter, Skyler, she is six. She just entered first grade. She’s loving it. She loves her teacher and she loves her class,” said Minichiello. “Viviana is just 15 months and she has learned, or I should say, mastered the skill of walking. So it’s hard to keep up with her. But they’re both so great.”

She is one of many mothers who experienced post-partum complications that could have cut her time with her children short.

“I happen to have postpartum cardiomyopathy. Right after I gave birth to Skyler,” said Minichiello.

She said she currently undergoes routine heart testing. Minichiello had coverage for the medical expenses.

“I was very fortunate to be in the position of having adequate health care for both girls because I actually had complications with my second daughter, Viviana, as well,” said Minichiello.

The bill’s increase in coverage, from 60 days to 12 months, is something Minichiello said is more realistic when it comes to supporting mothers in post-partum.

“If I could name one person who said, Yeah, after two months I was completely fine and great and I didn’t need health care that would be absolutely zero,” said Minichiello.

Republican State Senator Jesse James was one of the 32 lawmakers who voted yes. One lawmaker voted against the bill.

“It’s about taking care of the people. And moms are a very important person when it comes to a child’s life,” said State Senator James. “I think it was important. I think this is evidence based legislation, the statistics, the data’s there to support this. And I don’t know how we can go on in not providing these services in our state.”

“I think what’s critical for the bills to pass is this to save lives, you know, especially for new moms,” said Minichiello.

According to the American Heart Association, maternal mortality rates in the United States have doubled since data collection started in 1987. There have been steep drops in global rates.