Weekly Wednesday Wire: March 15, 2017

Federal News

Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act Passes House, from Congress

The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act (HR 1174), introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), has passed the House by voice vote on Tuesday, March 7. The bill would require buildings that are either federally owned or leased to provide designated private and hygienic lactation spaces for nursing mothers. Last Congress, Norton's bill passed the House as part of the Public Buildings Reform and Savings Act of 2016. Federal law currently requires employers to provide a designated, non-bathroom space for employees to pump breast milk, but the bill would extend this requirement to visitors and guests to federal facilities across the nation. The Congressional Budget Office report on the bill states that it couldn't point to comprehensive information on the number of lactation rooms in public buildings. It estimated that implementing the bill would cost less than $500,000 annually for certain installation costs because it would not affect many buildings. Although there is not yet a Senate sponsor of the bill, the House version has been received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Media highlights include:

House Advances Bill to Repeal/Replace the Affordable Care Act, from Congress

On March 6, leaders in the House of Representatives released budget reconciliation legislative recommendations, dubbed the "American Health Care Act," as the first step in a proposed three-phase process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The two House committees tasked with jurisdiction by the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 published section-by-section summaries: the Energy & Commerce Committee and the Ways & Means Committee.

Both committees held markups on March 8, lasting 27 and 16 hours, respectively, and considering many amendments. See the results from each hearing: Energy & Commerce Committee and Ways & Means Committee. On the morning of March 9, both committees passed the legislation along party line votes, and forwarded it on to the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will hold a markup on March 16. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released the cost estimate for the bill on March 13. This bill is expected to precede other actions on the Administrative/Regulatory side and additional legislation to be developed later. 

Read our analysis of the bill's impact on the ACA breastfeeding provisions.

Organizational letters and statements:

Action Alerts:

Executive Order to Reorganize the Executive Branch, from The White House

President Trump has issued a Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch. The order requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs. A notice will be published in the Federal Register inviting the public to suggest improvements in the organization and functioning of the executive branch.

State Innovation Waivers to Increase Access to Insurance, from HHS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of the Treasury have highlighted the State Innovation Waiver to give states the opportunity to develop strategies that best suit their individual needs. Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act permits a state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver to pursue innovative strategies for providing its residents with access to high quality, affordable health insurance. 


Member News

2017 Pediatric Obesity Mini CoIIN, from ASPHN

The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists has announced that six state teams will be joining the 2017 Pediatric Obesity Mini Collaborative Improvement & Innovation Network (CoIIN). Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania will join the Arkansas, California, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin state teams to make a 13 member CoIIN. 

Fed Is Best Blog Response, from BFUSA

Baby-Friendly USA has issued a statement in response to the latest Fed is Best blog on one family's tragic loss. While BFUSA cannot comment on individual cases, the statement discusses individualized care in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and outlines relevant features of the Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria.  

Grant Award Announcment, from ROSE

Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere has received the support of a three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan to create a national presence for inclusion-oriented education. ROSE will create a training platform, breastfeeding blueprint, and breastfeeding center of excellence. The initiative will alter the way in which health professionals approach underserved communities. Read the press release.   


Partner News

Sign On Letter to Support REACH, from TFAH

Trust for America's Health has launched a sign on letter to appropriators supporting the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. REACH serves as the nation's only community-based, culturally relevant and multi-disciplinary program dedicated to the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities.

Regulatory Accountability Act Action Alert, from CSPI

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has issued an action alert in opposition to the Regulatory Accountability Act, which recently passed the House and is up for consideration in Senate committee. The Regulatory Accountability Act would make it easier for corporations to challenge public safety rules; add dozens of additional steps for agencies to form safeguards; and make agencies select the cheapest option, rather than the best option.

Prevention and Public Health Fund Sign On Letter, from TFAH

Trust for America's Health has sent a sign-on letter with 333 organizational signees to Congressional leadership opposing the repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Last week, TFAH sent essentially the same letter to the President, with nearly 100 additional organizations signed on.

Survey on Registered Voters' View on Public Health, from TFAH/RWJF

Trust For America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have released a Special issue brief on a recent national survey of registered voters on public health. The survey found that nearly three-quarters of Americans support increasing investments to improve the health of communities. The report contains a breakdown of survey data and strategic messaging recommendations.

Funding Opportunity Announcement, from Voices for Healthy Kids

Voices for Healthy Kids has released an Incubator Opportunity for innovative approaches that align with Voices for Healthy Kids efforts to support populations most adversely affected by childhood obesity. Incubator opportunities should identify additional partners and strategies through the empowered engagement of populations that are in the greatest need. Applications are due by Friday, March 31.

Appropriations Sign On Letter, from NDD United

NDD United has sent a letter signed by 2,000 national, state, and local organizations to Congress and the President. The letter urges adequate funding for programs funded through annual appropriations, by continuing the bipartisan practice of providing relief from sequestration budget cuts and opposing any new efforts to cut these programs more deeply.


News from the Field

Collaboration Training Webinar, from BCR

Join the Building Community Resilience Collaborative on Tuesday, March 21, from 1-2:15 p.m. ET for a webinar entitled, "Communications and Advocacy Tools for Cross-Sector Collaborations." The Collaborative has developed several planning and communication tools to help foster engagement between grassroots community services and public and private systems.  

Safety Net Program Report and Recommendations, from BPC

The Bipartisan Policy Center has released a new report entitled, "Preserving the Children's Health Insurance Program and Other Safety-Net Programs." The report recommends that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) along with three other safety-net programs, including the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, be extended through FY2021. The report emphasizes that in addressing continued funding, policymakers must consider the implications of legislative timing, funding levels and duration of an extension, interactions with the ACA and Medicaid, and potential impacts on coverage for lower-income Americans.

Formula Marketing Bill Introduced, from UK Parliament

The United Kingdom Parliament has introduced a bill that would address infant formula marketing practices. The bill would require that all milk formulas have plain packaging, establish an independent body to test products, ban misleading terms, prohibit advertising in health journals, magazines, television, and social media, and create stronger penalties for companies that violate the law.

Title IX Report, from NCWGE

The National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education has released "Pregnant and Parenting Students: Supporting Academic Success Through Title IX." The chapter explores the persistent barriers women and girls face in education and the historical impact of Title IX, including on access to time and space to express breast milk. NCWGE recommendations provide important action items for schools, advocates, federal and state legislators, and administrators to ensure efforts to achieve equity lead to long-term success.

Systematic Review of Breastfeeding Support, from Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has released, "Support for healthy breastfeeding mothers with healthy term babies." The review sought to describe forms of breastfeeding support which have been evaluated in controlled studies, the timing of the interventions and the settings in which they have been used; to examine the effectiveness of different modes of offering similar supportive interventions, and whether interventions containing both antenatal and postnatal elements were more effective than those taking place in the postnatal period alone; to examine the effectiveness of different care providers and training; and to explore the interaction between background breastfeeding rates and effectiveness of support. The review found that when breastfeeding support is offered to women, the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding is increased. Characteristics of effective support include: that it is offered as standard by trained personnel during antenatal or postnatal care, that it includes ongoing scheduled visits so that women can predict when support will be available, and that it is tailored to the setting and the needs of the population group. Support is likely to be more effective in settings with high initiation rates. Support may be offered either by professional or lay/peer supporters, or a combination of both. Strategies that rely mainly on face-to-face support are more likely to succeed with women practicing exclusive breastfeeding. 


Collective Impact Connection

Guide to Facilitating Intentional Group Learning, from Collective Impact Forum

The Collective Impact Forum has released, "Facilitating Intentional Group Learning: A Practical Guide to 21 Learning Activities." For organizations to be successful, individuals need opportunities to share data, as well as their knowledge and experiences, with others. Facilitated, intentional group activities create the ideal environment for reflection and dialogue that lead to new insights and understandings. The guide provides detailed instructions on how to conduct high-energy, inclusive, and productive experiences.   


News & Views

TIME: "Obamacare helped working moms breastfeed — and it's one thing the GOP might keep"

Black America Web: "Bias About Breast Feeding? It Exists'"

Forbes: "What's The Etiquette For Breastfeeding At A Work Conference?"

Snopes: "Can Breastfeeding an Infant Have Deadly Consequences?"

The Washington Post: "Obamacare repeal guts crucial public health funds"

CNN: "Advocates call foul on CDC cuts in GOP Obamacare repeal bill"

Recent Stories
Weekly Wednesday Wire: December 6, 2017

Weekly Wednesday Wire: November 22 & 29, 2017 (combo issue)

Weekly Wednesday Wire: November 15, 2017