Breakthrough Web Design - 641-201-1459 - Build Your Online Presence
News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the North Iowa Region
• Founded 2010

Senator Ragan: How can we ensure healthy moms and babies?


This news story was published on November 1, 2019.
Advertise on NIT Subscribe to NIT

Ragan swearing in, 2019

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties from Senate District 27:

Among Iowa’s health care challenges is rural access to maternal care—pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum.

Population shifts mean fewer babies are born in rural communities, so it becomes increasingly difficult to offer the necessary services there.

As a result:

  • Most rural hospitals have no obstetrician on staff. Iowa ranks 50th among the 50 states for OB/GYNs per capita.
  • Many rural hospitals no longer deliver babies. North-central Iowa has been hard hit. Mercy Medical Center in Hampton, Mitchell County Regional Health Center in Osage, Eldora Regional Medical Center and Ellsworth Municipal Hospital in Iowa Falls have closed their OB units.
  • Some Iowa women must drive hours to a hospital equipped to deliver babies.
  • Iowa has a high rate of cesarean births (32 percent), which can lead to future health problems.

The outcomes for patients are striking.

In less than three years, Iowa’s maternal mortality rate has more than doubled, claiming the lives of 48 women. In addition, in the last two years, more than 40 women lost their uteruses in Cesarean-Hysterectomies at one hospital alone.

Of Iowa hospitals that have stopped delivering babies, the difficulty attracting and retaining skilled medical professionals was the main reason. Also playing a role are financial concerns. Malpractice insurance is more expensive for doctors who deliver babies, and fewer rural patients needing maternal care make labor and delivery too expensive for aging communities.

In addition, privatized Medicaid doesn’t cover the costs for delivering babies if health care providers follow the recommended standard of care. That can really take a toll in our area where, in 2018, 36% of Butler County births were covered by Medicaid; 47% in Cerro Gordo; and 54% in Franklin County.

Here are some steps the Legislature could consider to make Iowa safer place to have a baby:

  • Adjust Medicaid rates so that hospitals are adequately reimbursed for the care they provide.
  • Reverse course on policies that closed family planning offices so that all Iowa women have access to services close to home.
  • Ensure labor and delivery units use proven practices—known as “safety bundles”—that save lives during delivery.

Do you have a personal maternal health care story that could help me make the case at the Iowa Capitol? If so, I’d like to hear it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

16 Responses to Senator Ragan: How can we ensure healthy moms and babies?

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 4, 2019 at 9:31 am

    We could ensure healthy babies by making sure the right wing wackos on this site don’t reproduce. Mental illness is hereditary.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 4, 2019 at 6:52 am

    Shout out to the 14,000 to 15,000 people – registered voters in Mason City – who won’t take the time (10 minutes) to vote this coming Tuesday, Nov 5th. Sorry, the truth is never invited to the party. There are 20,000 registered voters in Mason City, yet 14,000-15,000 of you (yes, I’m talking to you) will not bother to vote. Don’t let a small group of voters decide this election. Show Mason City you care. I need your help – I need your vote. I can’t help you if you don’t help me.
    Please get out and vote for Max F Weaver
    “No more money downtown” “No to higher taxes”
    TRUTH!!!

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 2, 2019 at 8:19 am

    What a farce. A member of the party that supports killing babies coming out with something to support babies. Party of liers.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      November 3, 2019 at 5:40 am

      Learn to spell “liars” you stupid douche bag old goat.
      The republicans / conservatives are the ones that don’t give a rat’s ass about a child after they are born.

      • Avatar

        Carlos Reply Report comment

        November 3, 2019 at 6:54 am

        Maybe you should try to become less antagonistic this early in the day. Remember, kindness can start with you. Please go in peace my friend.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        November 3, 2019 at 7:36 am

        That’s all the P.O.S. has. He can’t win on any arguments. Mental deficiency runs deep in his family.

        • Avatar

          Carlos Reply Report comment

          November 3, 2019 at 12:23 pm

          You have no more of an idea as to whom it was that posted the comment on November 2, at 8:19 am, than I do. If you are honest with yourself, you will surely agree, all you are doing is merely speculating as to whom the poster truly is.

          None the less, I will pray for you.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            November 3, 2019 at 6:02 pm

            Yes, I do. Quinn sucks at keeping a secret.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            November 4, 2019 at 1:59 am

            I’m not Quinn, you idiotic old geezer L*V*S.
            You’re such a dumbass and useless old numb-nuts.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            November 4, 2019 at 6:51 am

            What do you know, you just don’t Blong here.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            November 4, 2019 at 7:26 am

            Always another P.O.S. who just doesn’t Blong here that crawls out of the woodwork.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 2, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Traveling doctor who makes house calls. Just like in the old days. Also scrubbing floors, climbing stairs, and general housework kept a woman strong and healthy. Now days people are lazy. Everybody tends to lay around. Eat and stay indoors for the most part. Mothers of bygone days were legendary. Hardworking par excellence!

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Maybe you dems could support women and discourage abortions. A baby in the womb is a baby and deserves to live!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      November 3, 2019 at 10:15 pm

      Support women’s rights??? Republicans have a worse record in women’s rights than Democrats. Read a book dumbass

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    or. old irrelavent politicians doing feel good bs should be fired. do we have some issue with above average unhealthy births or pregnancy? how about discussing real issues. this is random dementia based lunacy from a dried up geriatric brain. how about we join twenty other states in the massive free and for sure revenue stream that is recreational marijuana! then we could fix roads and schools and have a surplus of cash left even after funding useless dumb fluff bills created by out of touch wack jobs. or we could be thinking about hearing pro act and constitutional carry or expanding wind energy or forcing alliant to stop raping north iowa on the bill….