SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Lisa Calderon (D-Whittier) is pleased to announce that she has introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to increase access to quality care and resources for women and infants.
“California is at the forefront of the nation when it comes to advancing legislation to protect its residents,” stated Assemblymember Calderon. “However, there is always more that we can accomplish when it comes to ensuring that we are meeting the needs of our most vulnerable populations. That is why I am authoring 2 bills that will increase health equity opportunities for women and children across the state.”
The bill package consists of Assembly Bills 904 and 1015:
- Doula Coverage in Private Health Plans (Assembly Bill 904) would require health care service plans and health insurers to develop a maternal and infant health equity program by January 1, 2025, with the goal of expanding access to doula services. Health plans may also convene a doula workgroup to examine the implementation of these programs.
- The Diaper Bank Program (Assembly Bill 1015) would require the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to expand the existing Diaper Bank Program to all 58 counties to ensure diapers and wipes are accessible statewide.
In March 2023, AB 1015 received priority designation by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus amongst 29 other bills aimed at strengthening health care and women’s economic security.
“Research indicates that doula services can prevent negative birthing outcomes like preterm births and cesarean sections by providing support throughout pregnancy and childbirth. Despite this evidence, doula services are not covered by private health plans in the state or nationally.”, continues Assemblymember Calderon. “Moreover, diapers are the fourth greatest cost burden for many families, costing up to $200 per month for each child. Parents and caregivers who rely on childcare services but who do not have enough diapers often cannot drop their children off at childcare. This leads to missed days at work and school, missed early education opportunities for toddlers, and an increased likelihood of painful rashes and infections.”
As these bills continue to move through the committee process, these bills will be heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee in the coming weeks.
You can also track these bills and other pieces of legislation at leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.
Contact: Alberto Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org