The New 'Deather-ism': Home Nurse Visits

One of the more successful healthcare interventions has been home nurse visits to families that have recently had a child:

"Optional Coverage of Nurse Home Visitation Services" certainly doesn't sound controversial. The initiative, which has existed in various forms at the state and local level for decades, would fund programs that "provide parents with knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains...modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices; [and] skills to interact with their child." Most similar programs have nurses visit the homes of low-income parents, usually before and after the birth of their first child, to teach them about nutrition, anger management and other parenting issues.

A series of longitudinal studies of home nurse visits have found that they can have powerful positive outcomes for both parents and children. One University of Colorado study found that 15 years after receiving home nurse visits, low-income unmarried mothers were more likely to be employed and less likely to have used welfare services, and their children were less likely to be victims of child abuse. Another evaluation of a Memphis-based program found that nurse visits improved the chances that parents would stay together after the birth of their child. Researchers say the programs are also linked to higher birth weights, increased involvement from fathers and improved school readiness for kids.

And there's bipartisan support for this--conservatives love home nurse visits:

In others words, home nurse visits are exactly the kind of pro-family policy that social conservatives would embrace. And they have. The home visitation provision in health reform legislation was modeled on a bill authored by Republican Senator Kit Bond of Missouri. Bond went through a parenting education program in Missouri when his son was born three decades ago and has been a fan of the idea ever since. "Being a parent is hard work," he says, "and babies don't come with directions."

Home visits have been so popular with conservatives that the idea kept coming up during conversations White House aides hosted with pro-life advocates earlier this year in an effort to find common ground on abortion.

So, let's see:

An effective healthcare policy.

Check.

A policy previously favored by conservatives.

Check.

So what next? You guessed it--movement conservatives drop their trousers and shit all over it:

Now conservative opponents of health reform have found a new threat: home nurse visits to low-income parents. "We are setting up a situation where Obama will be invading parent's [sic] homes and taking away their children," one columnist warned on RightWingNews.com....

In mid-July, Lindsey Burke at the right wing Heritage Foundation drew attention to the home visitation initiative, calling it a "troublesome provision...that would bring state workers into the homes of young families." Action hero and conservative activist Chuck Norris picked it up from there, penning a column sounding an alarm about "Obamacare's home intrusion and indoctrination family services, in which state agents prioritize houses to enter and enforce their universal values and principles upon the hearts and minds of families across America."

As with voluntary end-of-life-care counseling, optional home visits have morphed into "mandatory home inspections" in the words of health reform opponents, who charge that the provision is part of a "stealth agenda" to judge conservative parents unfit and remove their children into protective services. It's an unexpected evolution for a pioneering conservative idea.

At the risk of offending Ethan's delicate sensibilities, these sick twisted fucks are evil. Children could suffer because these delusional idiots (and their cynical fellow travellers) lack basic reading comprehension skills. It's as if these morons are looking for excuses to crap in their Warrior of God Underoos. The only difference between this and the crazy guy who rants on the subway is that the former bathe more often. How can you have an 'argument' or a debate with people who just make stuff up willy-nilly? Answer: you can't.

Home Nurse Visitation: It's OK If You're a (Only If You're) Republican.

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Good grief ... this idea dates back to the late 19th century and the settlement house movement in Chicago.

It's also an extremely effective health improvement measure in a society where there is no network of experienced older women to pass on the knowledge that you can't get from books.

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 18 Aug 2009 #permalink

Will Kit Bond stay strong? Or will he knuckle under? Will he cave to the nuts? Or take on the difficult task of teaching them a thing or two? Of explaining to them precisely why this is a good program? And that they are in fact "fucking morons"!

âWill Kit Bond stay strong?â

Probably. He has already said that he wonât be running for another term; and he voted for Sotomayor on the general principle that simple ideological differences shouldnât be enough to vote against.

The more interesting question is whether the wackaloons will listen to him. My guess is that they only listen to Limbaugh and Faux Friends.

"Probably. He has already said that he wonât be running for another term; and he voted for Sotomayor..."

Ah... good point! Nothing like showing a little courage when there are no consequences. ;^}

The other thing about these optional home nurse visits is that the nurses in question are nurses for heaven's sakes. They're there to teach people how to breastfeed and how to care for a foreskin/circumcision scar and check up that granny is getting her pills and doesn't have bedsores.

Nurses are not evil bastards, they're generally goodhearted folks with, y'know, excellent training and all. Well, except maybe Nurse K. /joke

Also, you try to get a nurse to do something they're "not covered for." And good luck with that.

I really doubt that Ethan would have any trouble with saying such "sick twisted fucks are evil", and I do not see anything in his post that suggests otherwise. In fact, if anything, the civility and respectfulness that the post values strongly suggests to me that Ethan would have no trouble with describing those perverse liars with even more profane language - after all they are very clearly being neither civil or respectful.

By Oscar Zoalaster (not verified) on 18 Aug 2009 #permalink

I don't think we have this same thign here in the Netherlands, but we do have more extensive sort of "well child check-ups" for parents with young children, that includes nurse consultation on development, nutrition, etc. All parents are eligible for this,s o not just low-income. It's not like they'll take away your child at the first sign that it's not exactly "normal", but there are plans to combine lots of files (eg. make school people be able to see early childhood nurse notes, etc.), etc., and this does lead to thsi risk.