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Ohio House passes a bipartisan bill aimed at preventing infant mortality

Baby sleeps peacefully in its bed
Baby sleeps peacefully in its bed

Ohio has some of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation. But the Ohio House hopes to change that. It has passed a bill aimed at preventing infant mortality.

Rep. Andrea White (R-Kettering) said the bill provides health care, early intervention, and wrap-around services for infants and new moms. A legislative cost analysis showed that the implementation of the plan will cost more than $30 million in 2024 and 2025 – much of it from one-time funds. King said it’s money well spent.

“These are cost-saving provisions because it’s all about invest now or pay later," White said.

White said putting the services prescribed in the bill in place is actually cost-effective.

“Most of these are one-time funding provisions and they will help us draw down other resources that will help us keep moving in this area in improving the lives of our most vulnerable," White said.

Bill has bipartisan support

The bill, known as the Strong Foundations Act, was one of the priority bills of House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill). It’s co-sponsored by Rep. Latyna Humphrey (D-Columbus). She said the bill is needed because Ohio has problems when it comes to the health of moms and their babies.

"Ohio has a higher maternal mortality rate than the national average, a higher number of maternal deaths, a greater number of women diagnosed with post-partum depression," Humphrey said.

The bill also requires insurers to cover hearing aids for people 21 and younger.

The legislation passed the House 72-19. It’s now headed to the Ohio Senate.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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