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Thinking Legislatively in DC

February 10, 2010

Since we’re snowbound here in Washington DC, legislative vibes are being sent to me from Capitol Hill just a few blocks away.  Thought I’d share a few key March of Dimes advocacy issues I’ve learned so far.

The March of Dimes invests in research, in families, in education, and in promoting public policies to improve the health of every woman, infant and child in America and around the world.  So much PROGRESS has already happened which is so amazing!  There have been preventive measures like newborn screening, smoking cessation, and prenatal care and also specialty services needed by women and children with complex medical needs.

The big issue now is ACCESS TO HEALTH COVERAGE – affordable, quality health care for every woman and child.  Another is securing INVESTMENTS in life-saving research designed to prevent prematurity, birth defects and infant mortality.  The mission of the March of Dimes.

Together I believe we can all accomplish this!  Right now in states all across the U.S. volunteers and staff are working together with federal and state decision makers – elected, appointed and career – to advocate for these two issues:  health coverage and funding for research.

TENNESSEE ADVOCACY

We were just in Tennessee last week – The March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter is advocating for legislation to create smoke-free environments.  Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely than non-smokers to have a low birth weight or preterm baby.  But it’s not enough for women to stop smoking while pregnant – they should be able to get help to quit – and pregnant women, infants, and children should not be subjected to second-hand smoke anywhere.

And just like so many other states, Tennessee is working hard to protect Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from being cut.  Access to health insurance is so vital to helping moms throughout Tennessee get the maternity care they need.

– Melanie (Josh’s Mom!)

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