By The Associated Press
Other highlights from Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s second annual State of the State address:
MATERNAL AND INFANT MORTALITY
She said black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. She proposed expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage for low-income mothers to a full year after giving birth and to move a woman’s first visit to within three weeks of the birth, with a comprehensive visit within 12 weeks. Other facets included tasking Michigan State University and the Detroit Medical Center with leading an effort to require that future doctors and nurses are trained on implicit bias — the deeply ingrained stereotypes that everyone has.
She renewed her call for the Legislature to approve her proposed Reconnect program to provide tuition-free community college or technical training for an estimated 51,000 nontraditional students age 25 and older without an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
She backed putting parts of the Obama-era federal health care law into state law in case the Affordable Care Act is invalidated by the courts or repealed by Congress and the president. They include provisions that prohibit insurers from denying people due to a preexisting condition and charging sick people more than healthy customers. Michigan insurers also would have to continue covering “essential benefits,” which are considered especially important for women since birth control and other routine services are now covered as preventive care, at no charge.