The House report reviews the evidence and finds good reason to support home visiting services.
Research shows that these programs, which provide a variety of services ranging from pre-natal medical care to school readiness and family literacy programs, can help improve student achievement, reduce child abuse rates, improve early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, and improve access to health services.
What's not to like?
Funding won't be available until 2010 and, in a time when the President-elect is proposing to establish a Chief Technology Office for the federal government, there is absolutely no mention of using social media to effectively and efficiently reach new parents.
And while the SBS Prevention Act would provide $20 million for hospital based prevention education ($5 per birth), the EBAH was amended to reduce the funding for hospital based education to $1 million - for a broader hospital based education program.
Hospital based education is accessible to almost everyone, not just those states and regions that are fortunate enough to have a good home visiting program in place (and EBAH will only fund organizations in place for three years, which leaves some doubt as to how it will benefit states and communities without programs).
Perhaps we can persuade Congress to fund education now as an economic stimulus initiative: say $20 per birth for education about SIDS, SBS and colic. It might help hospitals offset, just a tiny bit, the coming wave of Medicaid cuts.
And reduce by 50% the amount of unreimbursed money that hospitals spend to treat the consequences of inflicted head injuries...
I wonder if the American Hospital Association has a blog search running....