NHSA Applauds Provisions in Health Bill To Support and Expand Community-Based Prevention Programs

The National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.  If signed into law, this legislation will dramatically increase funding available for community-based programs designed to reduce infant mortality and support disadvantaged pregnant women.

NHSA is pleased that the bill contains substantial new investments in community-based prevention programming.  The proposed Prevention and Wellness Trust will provide $15.4 billion in funding over the next five years specifically to support a range of prevention, wellness and public health activities.  The Community Prevention and Wellness Services Grants, funded at $1.6 billion annually, will be available to support existing community-based Healthy Start programs and services, such as outreach, home visitation, case management, health education, perinatal depression screening, interconceptional care and other effective approaches to ensure optimal birth outcomes. These types of community-based services will not only save lives but also save billions of dollars in health care costs.

Recognizing that our country ranks a dismal 30th in infant mortality rates among all industrialized nations, health reform offers a chance to provide additional resources to the existing network of 102 Healthy Start programs working to provide all women, regardless of race or socio-economic status, with the quality health care they deserve.

 

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