Georgia lawmakers approve more health coverage for new moms

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ATLANTA (AP) — An expansion of medical coverage aiming to reduce deaths among mothers of Georgia newborns is headed to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature or veto.

The House voted Wednesday to give final approval to House Bill 1114 by a vote of 144-0.

Right now, indigent mothers covered by the state-federal Medicaid health insurance plan only get two months of coverage after giving birth.

The change won’t take effect until lawmakers provide $19.7 million to pay for it.

The measure would also require Medicaid to pay for lactation services to help breastfeeding women and their children.

Georgia has a high rate of mothers dying after birth, particularly concentrated among African American, rural and older mothers.

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