Stripped of controversial amendment, ‘Momnibus’ piggybacks on another bill, wins House OK

Republished from Kentucky Lantern


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

‘Momnibus’ bill to help Kentucky maternal health introduced in House

Senate Bill 74 became the vehicle for the maternal health bill. It passed the Senate in February and the House on Monday. The bipartisan bill establishes a maternal mortality review team to keep track of Kentuckians who die during pregnancy or within a year of birth. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is also required in SB 74 to keep track of the types of births and interventions 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.

All that remains is for the Senate to concur on SB 74 before the end of Monday. 

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, adding it will “protect” parents who need prenatal care but could not get insurance coverage.  

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. 

This story will update.

 Liam Niemeyer contributed to this report. 

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