Articles Government Law
“Forced” home visits: Obamacare is not the real problem
Aug 19, 2013
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A frightening report has been circulating regarding an Obamacare provision which will create “forced” home inspections with criteria so broad that “any family may be visited by federally paid agents for almost any reason.” The news is certainly alarming, but the real problem is deeper than just one more rotten ObamaCare Easter egg.

Indeed, the real problem is the reason ObamaCare can succeed in this way to begin with.

First, let’s look at the extent of the provision. The source of alarm is a call for applications for the “Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Competitive Grant program.” Successful applicants must propose models that include giving “priority” to criteria including the following:

  • Families where mom is not yet 21.
  • Families where someone is a tobacco user.
  • Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities.
  • Families with 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 the United States.

The larger document (downloadable from HHS’s website) describes general headings for agencies to design “evidence-based models” for “home visitation.” Some are extremely broad, including such things as “Child development and school readiness,” “social-emotional development,” “Prevention of child injuries,” and “Parenting skills.”

This has led one concerned lawyer to warn, “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.”

To the extent that this is true—and I believe it is—it is truly alarming. But what we need to recognize is even more alarming yet:

“Home visiting programs” already exist, and already operate daily throughout this country, and have done so for years. It is not a creation of ObamaCare. It is the existing social services system. It is connected to many other government agencies, including the public school system.

This new program is a classic federal buy-off: the federal government is merely creating a grant program as a trade-off. Already existing agencies can choose to take the money if they agree to the new provisions. And since most of these local agencies (Child Protective Services, School Boards, Social Workers, etc.) are run by liberals (or in conservative locales, a combination of liberals and crypto-conservatives), they will gladly take the money, gladly compete to get the money, and will more than gladly implement such provisions. They will more than gladly “visit” people’s homes as they wish endowed with their new money and new powers, paid for by you.

This is not merely some new overreach of government brought to you by Barack Obama. This is our own entrenched state and local greed and larceny in the heart in action. It is ObamaCare-funded, but it will be enabled by the millions of conservatives who believe in and use public schools, who believe in the existence of state-run Child Services and social work to even just some degree.

Once you legitimize socialism, it will grow and eventually consume you. Since conservatives by the millions continue to legitimize it, they should not be shocked when the socialistic institutions they support—or at the very least refuse to oppose—eventually come back to bite them.

While even the HHS document itself calls this particular expansion “an unprecedented opportunity,” it is nevertheless only such an opportunity “for collaboration and partnership at the Federal, State, and community levels.” In fact, this provision exists to “to award Development Grants to States that currently have modest home visiting programs and want to build on existing efforts.” And the document notes that “coordination of services with other agencies has been an essential characteristic of State and local programs for many years.”

This is a classic example of what I have been talking about for some time: “don’t take the cheese.” If you don’t want to be in the trap, don’t take the cheese. Public education and “for the children” programs have been the cheese since the 1830s.

The response to this is not merely to complain about ObamaCare. The real problem lies in your own back yard—indeed, in many cases, in your own bed. The solution lies there, too, or at least the beginning of it.

Growing numbers of people are already awake, and already getting out of bed. Freedom from the problem of the total socialist takeover of our families and communities will require concerted, systematic, sustained, grass-roots opposition and replacement of the socialist-funded nightmares with free-market alternatives.

Following the status quo will mean continuing the slide into a fully liberal-progressive society. That decline is the status quo. This means being a mere conservative at this point is essentially to be a liberal. If the alternatives of freedom are not created and fought for in a radical and activist way, tyranny will continue to grow and devour our families and children. A generation of conservative children will be turned into liberals, and the conservatives will only have themselves to blame.

And we will see the daughters of conservatives presidents calling for Hillary to run for president. Oops, that’s already happened.

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About author

Dr. Joel McDurmon

Dr. Joel McDurmon

Joel McDurmon, Ph.D. in Theology from Pretoria University, is the Director of Research for American Vision. He has authored seven books and also serves as a lecturer and regular contributor to the American Vision website. He joined American Vision's staff in the June of 2008. Joel and his wife and four sons live in Dallas, Georgia.

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