Here is some good news. Last month, in February, testimony was heard for LD 85: MaineCare Reimbursement for Donor Human Milk. The bill passed unanimously, even with a budget item attached to it.
There was testimony from Kara Kaikini of the Maine State Breastfeeding Coalition (MSBC) and Naomi Bar-Yam of the Mothers Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE). A representative from WIC read the testimony of a mother who’s newborn had benefitted from Donor Human Milk. I followed after them and there was more discussion.
Here’s an important point I’d like to share. The sponsor for this bill was Representative Margaret Craven of Lewiston, Maine. In 2019, she had attended the grand opening of a milk depot at Pediatric Associates of Lewiston. Representative Craven saw the value of Donor Human Milk and understood the need to make this available to more families. She realized that MaineCare should/could reimburse for donor milk. Thus, the bill that she sponsored this year and last.
By the time you read this blog, the Maine Legislature will be meeting to vote on the budget. I’m crossing my fingers that this is voted on favorably.
Thank you to Representative Margaret Craven for that insight and initiative. Thank you, also, to my colleagues at WIC, the Maine State Breastfeeding Coalition, the Milk Bank NorthEast and the women who shared their stories.
It’s good to see how our joint efforts can do good for families in Maine.