Jim Hagedorn’s January 25 town hall event held in Fillmore County’s Spring Valley was memorable due to his statement that “people should fend for themselves” made during a discussion of the Trump Administration’s plans to cut food assistance benefits (SNAP aka “food stamps“), but also because he was asked to support the health care of rural moms.
A woman said 11 of 21 counties in Minnesota’s First District have no obstetrics medical unit and asked “Will you support the ‘Rural Moms Act’?”
Congressman Hagedorn did not give an enthusiastic response instead complained that government backed insurance pay less to the medical care provider than private or other insurance, thus making it harder for rural providers to stay in business and some clinics or rural hospitals close because they can’t get enough people willing to work there. Congressman Hagedorn suggested that a lot of Medicare reimbursements are fraudulent (gosh, talk about walking a fine line … most people on Medicare are age 65 and older so the program isn’t usually associated with childbearing, but many younger people who receive Social Security disability benefits also qualify for Medicare coverage, and some of them do indeed become pregnant … so Congressman Hagedorn is correct in citing Medicare — but how many fraudulent claims involve pregnancy is unknown.)
Well, as the August recess is about to begin, let’s review what Congressman Hagedorn has done on the issue.
Actually, it’s easier to see what he has not done.
The legislation in question, H.R.4243 – Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services Act has bipartisan support … but not “Representative” Hagedorn.
In fact, there are many other proposals that would address Moms and babies that Congressman Hagedorn has not sponsored :
HR 117 NEWBORN Act (Nationally Enhancing the Wellbeing of Babies through Outreach and Research Now Act)
HR 1364 Child Care for Working Families Act
HR 1551 Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act
HR 1897 MOMMA’s Act (Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness Act)
HR 2602 Healthy MOMMIES Act
HR 2902 Maternal CARE Act
HR 2694 Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
HR 4215 Excellence in Maternal Health Act of 2019
HR 4801 Healthy Start Reauthorization Act of 2019
HR 4995 Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019
HR 4996 Helping MOMS Act of 2019
HR 5189 BABIES Act (Birth Access Benefiting Improved Essential Facility Services Act)
H.R. 6141 Protecting Moms Who Served Act
HR 6142 Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020
HR 6165 Data to Save Moms Act of 2020
HR 6637 Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2020
That’s a lot of proposals that Congressman could have put his name on … instead he has put his name on HR 7358 Mount Rushmore Protection Act which would prohibit the use of federal funds to alter or destroy Mount Rushmore. Very telling that Congressman Hagedorn is more concerned about monuments than infant mortality, pregnant women and mothers.
OK … so sponsoring a bill is not the same as voting on a bill … and that’s where Congressman Hagedorn record stands out.
On July 29 the House in a Bipartisan approved two bills HR 7027 Child Care Is Essential and HR 7327 Child Care For Economic Recovery Act … and Congressman Hagedorn voted NO on both of those bills.
As voters to consider whether to rehire Jim Hagedorn for another term, let’s remember that his motto “people should fend for themselves” includes moms and their babies.