The Federal Government has devised a way to incentivize local governments to implement invasive “home visiting programs” for so-called “high-risk populations.” The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” has provisions for millions of dollars in to be spent on “interactions” between private families and social workers, looking for a reason to intervene. Legislators in some states have become concerned enough about the invasiveness of the program to introduce efforts to nullify this provision in the ACA, among others.
The U.S. Health Resources & Services (HRSA) is distributing $125,000,000 in federal tax dollars to local and state jurisdictions through a competitive grant, called the “Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Competitive Grant program.”
The grant states that priority for home visitations will be given to “High-Risk Populations and Programmatic Areas of Emphasis,” which it defines on its website as:
a) Eligible families who reside in communities in need of such services, as identified in the statewide needs assessment required under subsection
(b)(1)(A).b) Low-income eligible families.
c) Eligible families who are pregnant women who have not attained age 21.
d) Eligible families that have a history of child abuse or neglect or have had interactions with child welfare services.
e) Eligible families that have a history of substance abuse or need substance abuse treatment.
f) Eligible families that have users of tobacco products in the home.
g) Eligible families that are or have children with low student achievement.
h) Eligible families with children with developmental delays or disabilities.
i) Eligible families who, or that include individuals who, are serving or formerly served in the Armed Forces, including such families that have members of the Armed Forces who have had multiple deployments outside of the United States.
To recap, the federal government wants state social workers to visit the homes of young mothers under age 21, low-income families, people who smoke cigarettes, active and former military personnel, children who don’t do well in school, and the classic cases of abuse and addiction.
Grant applicants are expected to define how they will tackle the programmatic areas of emphasis, which include “Improvements in maternal, child, and family health,” “Development of statewide or multi-State home visiting programs,” and “Outreach to families in rural or frontier areas.”
Expounding on these emphases, Appendix A of the MIECHV application lists the following social worker objectives, among others, that will be striven towards during the home visiting programs:
• Home visiting to women at high medical risk;
• The provision of mental health services;
• Obesity prevention;
• Tobacco cessation programs;
• Behavioral health (including services for substance abusing caregivers);
• Engaging health service providers in at-risk communities to encourage identification and referral of pregnant women, young children, and families to home visiting programs;
While some of these objectives may sound like noble causes, the real question we need to be asking is if there is any practical limit to the power and influence of the federal government. This grant will send out federally-subsidized bureaucrats to intrude on families, telling them what they are allowed to eat, smoke, and what medical treatments to use.
Author Kent M. Brown, constitutional attorney, expressed his concerns with the program:
“This is not a “voluntary” program. The eligible entity receiving the grant for performing the home visits is to identify the individuals to be visited and intervene so as to meet the improvement benchmarks. A homeschooling family, for instance, may be subject to “intervention” in “school readiness” and “social-emotional developmental indicators.” A farm family may be subject to “intervention” in order to “prevent child injuries.” The sky is the limit.
Although the Obama administration would claim the provision applies only to Medicaid families, the new statute, by its own definition, has no such limitation. Intervention may be with any family for any reason. It may also result in the child or children being required to go to certain schools or taking certain medications and vaccines and even having more limited – or no – interaction with parents. The federal government will now set the standards for raising children and will enforce them by home visits.”
BenSwann.com reported that a South Carolina bill was introduced that would It would make forced home inspections under Obamacare illegal in South Carolina. H.3101 passed in the House but died in the senate.
So the question remains, what happens when the families refuse the “interventions” imposed by the social workers? What if parents continue to smoke, and continue to feed their child soda pop and candy? What if parents choose to pursue natural remedies, rather than follow the social workers’ plans of using pharmaceutical drugs for every perceived illness? Will social workers call Child Protective Services on parents for not following the government’s lifestyle advice?
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