Amanda, Joplin

When Amanda gave birth to her daughter in 2012, she had been depending on Medicaid to help her with her prenatal and hospital expenses. During birth, there were complications and Amanda had an emergency C-section. Three days later, Amanda began vomiting clots of blood. She was life-flighted from Joplin to Kansas City, where she had an emergency splenectomy, or removal of spleen, and was diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia, a rare form of blood cancer. Since then, Amanda has seen specialists regularly and takes expensive daily medicine to stabilize her condition. Although she would have lost her postpartum Medicaid coverage 60 days after giving birth, Amanda lived with her parents while she recovered and was able to extend her coverage for just over a year before returning to work.

“If I hadn’t been able to extend my coverage, I would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt,” she said. “Mothers deserve to have postpartum coverage for as long as possible, because you never know what complications will arise during and after giving birth.”