With an eye on decreasing the state’s high infant mortality rate, the Ohio House passed a bipartisan bill Thursday that would expand smoking cessation, dental visits and health and lead education (Source: “Ohio House approves spending $11 million to reduce infant mortality, preterm births,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 20, 2019).
House Bill 11, sponsored by Rep. Gayle Manning, a Republican from North Ridgeville, and Rep. Stephanie Howse, a Cleveland Democrat, passed unanimously. It now heads to the Senate.
HB 11, if passed, would have four components:
- Require Ohio Medicaid, Medicaid managed care organizations and state employee insurance plans to cover federally recognized tobacco cessation medications and services.
- Provide $6 million to the Ohio Department of Health to give grants to health care facilities, medical practices and others to begin programs that encourage early prenatal care.
- Provide $5 million for pregnant Medicaid recipients to receive twice-a-year dental visits.
- Require the Ohio Department of Health to develop educational materials on lead-based paint and distribute them to people who live in homes built before 1979 and to families who participate in the state’s Help Me Grow Program.