After Motherly's second annual State of Motherhood survey revealed that 85% of moms feel society doesn't understand or support mothers, we knew we needed to reach out to all presidential candidates with a series of questions on behalf of America's mothers.
Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.
That's is why we are demanding change in 2020, standing with organizations and advocacy groups fighting to get American mothers the support they need and deserve and declaring this the #yearofthemother.
Mike Bloomberg's campaign responded to our questions. Read on to see how he plans to address our demands.
How Mike Bloomberg plans to bring paid family leave to America:
Mike believes all workers deserve access to paid family leave. Workers who receive generous family leave from their employers are more likely to remain in their jobs and have healthier children. As president, Mike will guarantee 12 weeks of paid family leave for all working Americans. Mike supports the passage of national paid family leave legislation, like the FAMILY Act, which includes men and women, the birth or adoption of a child, serious medical conditions of the employee, caregiving for a child, parent, spouse, or domestic partners in the case of a serious medical condition, and for caregiving for a spouse or child with a military-related injury.
How Bloomberg plans to ensure the maternal health crisis is addressed:
Mike Bloomberg has a plan for tackling the nation's maternal mortality crisis, with a particular focus on decreasing disparities in maternal health outcomes across the country for communities of color. Mike's plan includes several initiatives designed to decrease disparities in maternal health outcomes across the country and reduce the disproportionately high maternal mortality rate among women of color.
In order to address a lack of reliable data around maternal mortality, Mike's plan centralizes data collection at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and uses the data to inform and improve standards of health care. The data will be used to establish programs to assist clinicians in identifying high-risk pregnancies.
As president, Mike will also boost funding for medical schools at HBCUs. His plan also boosts funding for medical schools at historically black colleges and universities to increase the number of people of color in the health-care workforce.
While low-income women can enroll in Medicaid when they become pregnant, in fourteen states, the program covers new mothers for only 60 days postpartum. Mike's plan would ensure that all low-income women could obtain coverage. He will allow people in states that haven't expanded Medicaid under the ACA, who would otherwise be eligible for the expanded program, to enroll in the public-option free of charge.
Mike's plan also aims to better serve the 28 million women of childbearing age living in rural America by encouraging more providers to practice in these areas. Because fewer than half of all rural counties have a practicing obstetrician or gynecologist, and under half of rural counties have hospitals with obstetric units, the plan encourages states to pass laws that allow trained medical professionals to provide more care that is currently limited to a doctor's scope. This is also aimed at providing better care for more women, especially in rural areas. His proposal calls for the expansion of the National Health Service Corps, which offers loan repayment and scholarship opportunities for doctors who practice in high-need areas, to also cover medical students from minority communities.
How Mike Bloomberg will ensure better maternal mental health support:
In the states that haven't expanded Medicaid, low-income mothers are only covered for 60 days postpartum. In Mike's plan, women will be able to access health insurance regardless of their pregnancy status. If they are low-income and would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid save for the fact that they live in a state that hasn't expanded it, Mike will allow them to enroll in the public option free of charge. Mike will also enforce mental health parity laws that require insurers to cover mental health services on par with physical health services.
Mike Bloomberg's thoughts on creating affordable childcare solutions:
Childcare and early childhood education in America is significantly underfunded, with the majority of public spending coming from federal sources. Mike's plan to improve the lives of working families includes several initiatives aimed at making child care more affordable.
● Boost the number of low-income infants and toddlers who receive federally subsidized free early learning. Mike will triple the number of infants and toddlers served by Early Head Start and expand the reach of Head Start. Early Head Start, which caters to low-income pregnant women and infants and toddlers under the age of 3.
● Increase the percentage of families who receive childcare subsidies through the Child Care and Development Block Grants, the largest source of federal child care funding.
● Expand child-care tax credits for low- and moderate-income families by working to pass the Promoting Affordable Childcare for Everyone Act (PACE), sponsored by Representative Stephanie Murphy, which makes the Child Care and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDTC) fully refundable and indexed to inflation.
● Reform the EITC and pilot a program to expand it to cover family caregiving and other forms of employment currently ineligible for the benefit. Mike's plan will not only reward work and facilitate economic participation, it will ease the financial burden of parents who rely on family members to care for their children.
● Expand funding to help colleges provide campus-based child care programs, including before-and after-school services, helping parents stay in school and creating a potential training ground for students studying early childhood education.
How will you work to change the cultural expectations that contribute to maternal stress in America?
Mike Bloomberg recognizes the significant demands being placed on families, particularly mothers, who are juggling the demands of work, rising child care costs, not to mention the potential of dealing with a child who has a serious medical condition, or caring for a parent who is ill. This is exactly why Mike's policies like paid family leave and pay equity will help improve the lives of working families and reduce maternal stress.