A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘Momnibus’ bill passed on last day (without offending amendments); ‘great policy for moms and babies’


By Sarah Ladd
Kentucky Lantern

The maternal health legislation known as “Momnibus” was approved by the Kentucky legislature after it piggybacked onto another bill on the final day of the 2024 legislative session.

Senate Bill 74 became the vehicle for the maternal health bill. It passed the Senate in February and the House on Monday.

NKY’s Rep. Kim Moser and Sen. Shelly Funke Frommeyer speak in Senate chambers after Moser’s ‘Momnibus’ bill passes. (Photo by Isabella Sepahban/Kentucky Lantern)

The bipartisan bill establishes a maternal mortality review team to keep track of Kentuckians who die during pregnancy or within a year of birth. It also requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to keep track of birth and intervention types in hospitals across the state.
 
It also absorbed the original language of Momnibus, or House Bill 10, which  incentivizes Kentuckians to get prenatal care by adding pregnancy to the list of qualifying life events for health insurance coverage, among other things. It passed the House Monday afternoon 91-1 and in the Senate Monday evening 29-05 with two pass votes.
 
Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, said she was “thrilled” on the House’s passage of Momnibus.
 
“It’s great policy for Kentucky, for … moms and babies in Kentucky,” Moser said. It will “protect” parents who need prenatal care but could not get insurance coverage, she said.
 
Rep. Lindsey Burke, D-Lexington, called the bill “magnificent” on the House floor Monday. “It is a gift to the families of the Commonwealth,” she said.
 
This comes after HB 10 picked up controversial baggage on the House side, costing it some allies. The version that was tacked on SB 74 did not include the provisions that had drawn objections from Democrats and advocates for reproductive rights. Those provisions would have required hospitals and midwives to refer patients who have nonviable pregnancies or whose fetuses have been diagnosed with fatal conditions to perinatal palliative care services. That language was pulled from a bill that described such services as “alternatives to pregnancy termination” and provoked a Democratic walkout in committee. Opponents said the measure could have bene used to coerce pregnant patients to continue pregnancies. That bill is dead.

Liam Niemeyer of Kentucky Lantern contributed to this report. 


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