Judging from the emails I've received today, some clarification would be helpful in understanding who's on first, who's at bat and when we may finally see our home run for America's mothers and infants!
First, you can start by listening to this audio post which explains the basic initiatives of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act (i.e. MOTHER Act) which do NOT include PPD screening or medication.
This new audio post includes interviews with Dr. Michael Petriella, OB/GYN from Hackensack University Medical Center, Celeste Andriot Wood, Assistant Commissioner, NJ Family Health Services, and myself all of us hailing from NJ and having worked with PPD legislation as advocates, policy makers and healthcare practitioners.
This story originally aired on the nationally syndicated program Radio Health Journal in December 2009, and was produced by MediaTracks Communications.
The new Healthcare Reform legislation which just passed in the Senate is called The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It contains many healthcare initiatives and new policies focused on improving women's health and ACCESS to healthcare.
The two bills it includes most directly related to postpartum depression are:
The MOTHERS Act (you can read the bill here) which calls for PPD public awareness campaigns, education, research and funding of PPD services sponsored by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, and The Mikulski Amendment (you can read a summary of this bill here) the very FIRST amendment proposed, passed and included in this bill which calls for screening for postpartum depression (among other women's medical conditions including cancer screenings). This bill is sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski.