Missouri Senator John Loudon of Missouri apparently used “a bit of trickery and an obscure Greek term” to try and pass a measure that would loosen the restrictions on the practice of midwifery. Currently the state only allows certified nurse midwives to practice, but the new bill would widen the scope of midwives who could practice.
The new legislation would significantly reduce the requirements, allowing prospective midwives to get certified by a private entity, even if they lack formal medical or nursing training.
Fellow legislators were outraged by the tactics he used, which included slipping the provision into a 123 page bill about health insurance, without even using the word midwife.
“It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that I would use any means possible to get this done,” he said.
He’s definitely not the first Senator to do some serious political manuevering to get something passed, but it makes me wonder where his strong conviction in favor of midwives comes from. He has already been punished for the deception he is accused of using to get this measure through–losing his post as chairman of the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industrial Relations Committee.
The bill passed both the House and Senate without anyone noticing the midwifery provision–something that has faced significant opposition in the past. Congress leaders are trying to decide if they are willing to veto the bill (which tries to increase incentives for individuals who buy their own health insurance) based on this provision.