MIECHV Reauthorization Gains Momentum As Congressional Champions Call for Swift Action
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oct. 5, 2017 — Members in both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday spoke in support of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program as a part of debate on legislation to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers and other public health issues.
The Home Visiting Coalition is heartened that members of both congressional chambers included MIECHV in the debate yesterday, and urged federal funding for home visiting services in the final bills.
In his statement before the committee, Senator Grassley called for quick action on MIECHV stating “[MIECHV] is a bipartisan program that supports evidenced based programs to improve maternal and child health, that prevent child abuse, and promote child development and school readiness. I would like to get it considered before too much time has gone on in the next few weeks and hope that I can have the support of the Chairman and the Ranking Member.”
Senator Portman (R-OH) shared his support by telling the committee “[MIECHV] is working… and is an evidenced based family support program that is saving costs and increasing quality”
Representative DeGette called for consideration of the Senate MIECHV bill as a bi-partisan way forward on MIECHV while ranking Member Pallone asked that MIECHV be considered in a final package with CHIP and the other extenders passing out of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
“We’re thankful that Senators Grassley (R-Iowa) and Portman (R-Ohio), and Representatives DeGette (D-Colo.) and Ranking Member Pallone (D-N.J.) spoke up for MIECHV in their respective committees, asking their colleagues to join them in supporting the program. It’s a sign of momentum and gives us hope that if more champions of this bipartisan program join these members in taking swift action, MIECHV can be renewed before damage is done to families and home visitors,” said Diedra Henry-Spires, CEO of the Dalton-Daley Group and co-convener of the Home Visiting Coalition.
“Members of Congress who spoke out in support of MIECHV during the committee mark-ups have signaled a way for Congress to come together to quickly enact vital programs that keep children healthy and able to thrive. We are urging Congress to prepare a bipartisan legislative package that includes CHIP, MIECHV and other important programs serving children and families that can pass both chambers,” said Karen Howard, vice president of early childhood policy at First Focus and co-convener of the Home Visiting Coalition.
MIECHV expired on September 30. For the home visiting models across the country that receive MIECHV funding to continue to operate at full capacity, MIECHV must be reauthorized. The Home Visiting Coalition is calling for a five-year reauthorization of MIECHV that preserves the flexibility and stability the states need, and protects the home visiting services families rely on. The Coalition is also calling for an incremental increase in MIECHV funding to a total of $800 million annually.
About the Home Visiting Coalition: The Home Visiting Coalition is a diverse group of organizations committed to the well-being of children, working to promote continued federal support of home visiting to strengthen families in communities across the country. Voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs improve the health, development, and education of young children. These programs set the stage for children and families to become self-sufficient and successful.
Home Visiting Coalition