Policy

Issues

We bring the voices of constituents to policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure all women and children have access to high quality healthcare, early education, and support.

Bringing Focus to the Big Issues

Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) advocates for change by focusing on improving public policies and practices that impact maternal and child health and early education and care.

Protecting Women’s and Families Health

  • MCC envisions a world where families have access to high quality health services, protections for women’s health, and health insurance coverage
  • MCC programs provide clients with information on health services and insurance coverage

Educating on Zero to Three

  • MCC understands pregnancy through a child’s first three years is the most critical time for social, emotional, and educational development
  • MCC’s research on early language and literacy is at the forefront of early child development advances

Ensuring Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers

  • MCC envisions a world where pregnant women receive workplace support to help ensure that they have a healthy pregnancy and may successfully breastfeed without jeopardizing their job
  • MCC believes equal pay for women is critical for families’ well-being
  • MCC’s breastfeeding support programs and doula services help mothers and families during the important times of birth and post-partum

Empowering Incarcerated Mothers

  • MCC advocates for incarcerated pregnant women to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their children, while incarcerated and after release from jail
  • MCC’s research and programs help empower changes for incarcerated women and their children

Take Action

1.  Join MCC

  • Sign up for MCC action alerts
  • Join the MCC Public Policy Committee and become informed. Meetings are held quarterly, featuring key policy makers speaking on topics that impact women and families in Pennsylvania.
  • Follow MCC’s Social Media and tell us what you think! Follow/like us on Twitter: @mccpolicy and @MCC_Home, Facebook: Maternity Care Coalition, and Instagram: @maternitycarecoalition

2.  Support The PA Campaign For Women’s Health

  • The Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health is designed to promote family-friendly working conditions, economic fairness, and healthy lives through legislation

3.  Contact Your Elected Officials to Support Women & Families

  • Call, write, or email your elected officials today.
  • Check out our current fact sheets and infographics, as well as links to other advocacy sites to help inform you on the latest issues.

Policy Blog

Please join the conversation. MCC’s Policy Blog links to key news and issues that put families first. Tell us what you think and follow us on twitter @mccpolicy and Facebook, Maternity Care Coalition.

  • Donna's Story

    It is an ugly, hard situation I don’t wish on anyone. It is a very bitter sip to swallow, like a nightmare, every day hoping to wake up...It wasn’t the home that my husband and I made with our children; it wasn’t complete. With his empty chair at the table, we couldn’t eat dinner in the dining room.

    Read More »

  • We are reflecting, taking stock and looking toward 2017

    Despite the uncertainty and troubling developments, there are bright spots. One thing we know to be true is that babies are bi-partisan, so it is up to MCC and other like-minded individuals and organizations to educate legislators on the policies which will best serve babies and of course their families!

    Read More »

  • “Baby Friendly” means exactly what it says!

    In an article published this week, Dr. McDonough highlighted the importance of the Baby Friendly Initiative in Philadelphia, but leveled criticisms about the impact upon mothers who choose not to breastfeed. We responded.

    Read More »

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Policy Reports

Childbirth at a Crossroads (2006)

MCC’s comprehensive report paints a picture of the state of childbirth options and care in Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2006. Surveying the health care landscape at the time, it evaluates the lack of appropriate care for our increasingly diverse population, inadequate healthcare for our neediest, a declining pool of providers, continued health inequities across the region, and a deterioration of birth choices for childbearing families at all income levels.

Full Report

The Price of Being a Woman: Part One Maternity Coverage (2012)

Part One of Price of Being a Woman compares insurance options for men and women in cities across Pennsylvania, revealing that women face significant barriers and discriminatory practices when buying health insurance in the individual insurance market.  Out of hundreds of individual plans surveyed, only 20 percent were found to offer maternity benefits.

Full Report

The Price of Being a Woman: Part Two Gender Rating (2012)

Part Two of Price of Being a Woman found that 100 percent of the health plans surveyed charged women higher premiums than men based on gender alone – a practice known by insurance companies as gender rating. Even when comparing 40-year-old smoking males with 40-year-old non-smoking females, women are still charged significantly higher premiums than men.

Full Report

Perinatal Depression: Barriers and Recommendations (2011)

Based on the 2011 capacity study of Philadelphia’s behavioral health system and women’s access to perinatal depression services, MCC proposes solutions for changes to the system in our Barriers and Recommendations white paper.

Full Report

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Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania: Implications for Women, Families, and Healthy Workforce (2013)

Most adults who lack insurance have jobs. A disproportionate number of these individuals are women, who make up the majority of the service, child care, and health care industries that typically do not offer health insurance coverage to their employees.  MCC’s policy brief looks at how the Medicaid expansion extends health care coverage to these individuals, improving the overall health of Pennsylvania’s families and workforce.

Full Report

Norristown Survey of Prenatal Care Availability for Medicaid Managed Care Clients

Since 2005, MCC’s annual monitoring of prenatal care services in Norristown has identified troubling wait times for prenatal care.  Only a fraction of the practitioners listed by the managed care organizations are available to serve low-income families, and in some years the wait time for an initial prenatal care appointment was almost 12 weeks – an entire trimester. Below is a summary of our findings from 2005 to 2013.

Full Report

Making Systems Work for Women with Perinatal Depression (2011)

In 2011, MCC found that women in Philadelphia could wait up to twenty-two weeks to receive treatment for perinatal depression. Making Systems Work for Women with Perinatal Depression examines the barriers women on Medicaid face when seeking mental health services in Philadelphia. The study reveals long wait times, providers with limited knowledge in mental health care for pregnant and post-partum women, and limited treatment options for women with mild perinatal depression.

Full Report

Insuring Healthy Births (2009)

Insuring Healthy Births, the first report to identify that insurance is not required to cover maternity in Pennsylvania, reviewed the demographics of the insured, the uninsured, and the under-insured in Pennsylvania. The report examines the critical role of health insurance in providing access to health services and the types of health insurance available to consumers. It also compares other states’ solutions for increasing health insurance coverage, proposing recommendations for change in the Commonwealth.

Full report

Philadelphia Survey of Prenatal Care Availability for Medicaid Managed Care Clients

MCC monitors and tracks changes in prenatal care capacity for low-income families. In Philadelphia, we performed a comprehensive survey of prenatal care providers in 2007 and 2011. Both Philadelphia studies identify major discrepancies between managed care directories and the actual number of prenatal care providers available to serve women. In 2011, we began to collect information on the number of weekly hours, and appointments, available for prenatal services.

2007 Full Report, 2011 Full Report

Changes in Hospital Obstetrical Capacity from 1997-2012

During a sixteen year period, 19 hospitals or maternity units closed in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Today there are 23 maternity units in the region, yet the number of births in the region has remained stable.  Each year, MCC researches the hospital occupancy rates in each county in Southeastern Pennsylvania to monitor the changes in capacity.

Full Report