Governor signs Muzzall legislation with over $5 million for maternal health

In a ceremony today, Governor Inslee signed a slate of bills to become law including legislative sponsored by state Sen. Ron Muzzall. Senate Bill 5580 focuses on improving maternal support and directs the state Health Care Authority to support extended post-delivery hospital care for women struggling with substance-use disorders.

“The investment we make in maternal health and pre and postpartum will pay back large dividends to our society,” said Muzzall, R-Oak Harbor. “Healthy babies make healthy adults. The state of Washington is truly making an investment in our future.”

In Muzzall’s proposal, the services for pregnant and postpartum women would be expanded to those up to 210% of the federal poverty level. It also would direct the state Health Care Authority to create a post-delivery program transitional program for women with a substance use disorder at the time of delivery allowing for extended post-delivery hospital care.

Muzzall argues, “Giving birth is life-changing, and if there is a chance these mothers can get clean, we should utilize the hospital care to treat them and help break that addiction for their new baby. We also need HCA to look at outcomes for these newborns and their moms.”

Under SB 5580, by January 2025, the HCA will update its maternity support services program by collecting data, updating screening tools and evaluations aimed at healthier birth outcomes.