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Leveraging the Affordable Care Act to Improve the Health of Mothers and Newborns

Health insurance in the United States is a patchwork system whereby opportunities for coverage are strongly associated with life circumstances (ie, age, income, pregnancy, parental status). For pregnant women, this situation contributes to unstable coverage before, between, and after pregnancies. The Affordable Care Act has the potential to make coverage for women of reproductive age more stable and create new opportunities to intervene on conditions associated with maternal and neonatal morbidity. In this article, we discuss the health economics of the Affordable Care Act, its implications for maternal and neonatal health, specific challenges associated with implementation, and opportunities for obstetricians to leverage the Affordable Care Act to improve the care of women.