Black maternal mortality is a crisis — and Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix it

Black maternal mortality is a crisis — and Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix it
Election '20

Black women face much higher risk of pregnancy-related death than white women in the United States—and Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a plan to tackle it. Asked about the issue by a MomsRising activist at the She the People presidential forum, Warren didn’t miss a beat. “Measure the values that a country has by how it treats its mamas and its babies. And the United States for 25 years has profoundly failed on this front,” Warren said.

Pointing out that higher maternal mortality for black women persists at every level of education and income, Warren said that “The best studies that I’ve seen put it down to just one thing: prejudice. That doctors and nurses don’t hear African American women’s medical issues the same way as they hear the same things from white women.” How do you tackle that? “I want to talk to the hospitals … and I want to talk to them in the language they understand: money.”

Under Warren’s plan, hospitals would get bonus money for bringing down maternal mortality and lose money for bad outcomes, pushing them to “make it a first priority.” “Don't just observe and debate racism in health care. Make providers pay until this crisis is fixed,” Warren subsequently tweeted. It is a crisis, with lives at stake, and should be treated as such.

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