– As a longtime supporter of efforts to address Pennsylvania’s maternal mortality crisis, Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) applauds the enactment of Act 5 of 2023
, which improves access to maternal health and mortality data for medical professionals and policymakers. Mackenzie joined Gov. Josh Shapiro, advocates, and other lawmakers for Tuesday’s ceremonial bill signing at the state Capitol.
Mackenzie was the prime sponsor of legislation (Act 24 of 2018
) that created the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC), which reviews all maternal deaths, identifies root causes of these deaths, and develops strategies to reduce preventable morbidity, mortality, and racial disparities related to pregnancy in the Commonwealth. This information helps clinicians and public health professionals better understand circumstances surrounding pregnancy-related deaths and enables them to take appropriate actions to prevent them.
“Act 5 builds on the work being done by the MMRC and I appreciate the efforts of its prime sponsor, Sen. Judy Schwank, and Rep. Morgan Cephas in moving the legislation forward,” said Mackenzie. “This is another important step toward improving maternal health outcomes in Pennsylvania, but there is still much more we need to do to lower the numbers.”
Specifically, Act 5 requires the Department of Health (DOH) to annually publish maternal morbidity data obtained from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council with the goal of providing timely and transparent information on the causes of maternal mortality. The DOH data will be included in the MMRC’s annual report to the General Assembly, health care providers, and the public.
Mackenzie is also the prime sponsor of another proposal to help Pennsylvania families. House Bill 169
would increase the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to match the federal credit of up to $3,000 for one qualifying individual and $6,000 for two more qualifying individuals over a three-year period.