Republicans and opponents of health care reform make Dave Barry look like the prophet Isaiah with greatly improved accuracy. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried, as Dave Barry often says.
Included in the massive health care reform bill is some extra money to help out states and communities that have had difficulty getting effective programs going to combat child abuse. Pilot programs demonstrated that community health workers could provide a few parenting programs and dramatically reduce child abuse.
These are programs that prevent dead babies.
According to the text of H.R. 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act,” starting on page 838 is a description of a program under which states and communities can get money to fight child abuse, if they have large populations of poor families, where child abuse is a problem, and where anti-child abuse programs need more money. That’s pretty straightforward, no? [That’s a hefty .pdf file, by the way — more than 1,000 pages.]
Parenting instruction and help can be offered, in private settings, and in homes where struggling parents need help most.
Money goes to states that want it and can demonstrate a need. Parenting help programs are purely voluntary under H.R. 3200.
Who supports child abuse? Who would not support spending some of the money in health care reform to save the saddest cases, the children who are beaten or starved or psychologically abused?
Is it not true that the prevention of child abuse would contribute to better health care for less money?
This is politics, you know. Non-thinking conservatives pull out the stops in their desire to drive the health bill to oblivion, claiming that these anti-child abuse sections are socialism, liberty-depriving, and a threat to the designated hitter rule. (I only exaggerate a little on the third point.)
This isn’t stripping liberties is it, we want someone else coming into our homes and telling us how to raise our children and live our lives.
This is right out of the Book 1984. If you had not read it I suggest it.
“Right out of 1984?” Isn’t this a violation of Godwin’s Law?
Have the Heritage Foundation, and these other people, lost their collective minds? They complain about the provisions of this bill because — this is their words:
One troublesome provision calls for a home visitation program that would bring state workers into the homes of young families to improve “the well-being, health, and development of children”.
Well, heaven forbid we should improve the well-being, health and development of children!
It is fair to conclude from this report that the Heritage Foundation does not want to prevent dead babies.
Years ago, when Father Reagan presided over the Conservative Church, one of the Heritage Foundation favorite deacons, a guy named Al Regnery, was appointed to be assistant attorney general over programs dealing with youth — juvenile delinquents, drug users, etc. His chief qualifications for the job included that he was a faithful aide to Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt, and that he toed the party line on almost all issues, including shutting down federal funding for programs that might prevent juvenile delinquency, or treat it.
Republicans controlled the Judiciary Committee under Sen. Strom Thurmond, so Regnery’s confirmation was never doubted. But as if to throw gasoline in the face of advocates of anti-delinquency programs, When Regnery drove up to the Senate office buildings for his nomination hearing, his car had a generally humorous bumper sticker. “Have you hugged your kid today” showed on about 200 million of the 100 million cars in America at the time — it was a cliché. To fight the cliché, Regnery had the anti-fuzzy bumper sticker, “Have you slugged your kid today.”
When the issue hit the news, Regnery backpedalled, and said it was just a joke sticker that he probably should have taken off his car under the circumstances, but he forgot — and Regnery disavowed the bumper sticker, as humorous or anything else.
Comes 2009, we discover that the Heritage Foundation wasn’t kidding — slugging your kid is acceptable behavior to them, and creating programs to fight child abuse, is evil — to the Heritage Foundation.
Ronald Reagan would be ashamed of them. Somebody has to be ashamed — there appears to be no shame at Heritage Foundation offices.
One wouldn’t worry — surely common sense American citizens can see through these cheap deceptions — except that Heritage has a massive public relations budget, and there is a corps of willing gullibles waiting to swallow as fact any fantasy Heritage dreams up — see this discussion board on ComCast, where the discussants accept Heritage claims at face value though anyone with even a dime-store excrement detector would be wary; or see this blogger who says he won’t let the feds “take away” his liberties (to beat his children, or the children of others?); or this forum, where some naif thinks the bill will create a federal behavior czar. Glenn Beck, whose religion reveres children, can’t resist taking a cheap shot at Obama, even though doing so requires Beck to stand up for child abuse.
Beck falls into the worst category, spreading incredible falsehoods as if he understood the bill:
This doesn’t scare me! No way. Just the crazies like Winston Smith — you know, the main character from “1984.”
When did we go from being a nation that believed in hard work and picking yourself up by the bootstraps, to a nation that wants government to control everything from our light bulbs to our parenting techniques?
This bill has to be stopped.
Gee, Glenn — when did we go from a nation that thought government was for the people, as demonstrated by the Agricultural Extension Service, or the Air Traffic Control System, or the Tennessee Valley Authority, to a nation that fights to bring back Czarist Russian government in the U.S.? Stopping this bill won’t resurrect Czar Nicholas, and it will kill at least a few hundred American kids. Excuse me if I choose living American kids over fantasies of a new and oppressive monarchy.
These people are not journalists. Beck isn’t like Orwell — maybe more like Ezra Pound, in Italy. These people are not commentators, or columnists. These people are not editorial writers. They are not, most of them, lobbyists who give out information for money, having sold their souls away from the angels of serious public discourse.
They are crass propagandists. They should be regarded more like the guy Tom Lehrer warned us about, the old dope peddler in the park, who always has just a little bit of poison for the kids or anyone else. (“Don’t worry; you won’t get hooked.”)
How many other provisions of the health reform act are being distorted by conservatives in a desperate attempt to keep President Obama from “looking good,” despite the costs to America’s children and families?
These attacks on the health reform bill fall out of the category of robust discussion. They disgrace our polity, and they erode the dignity of our democratic system.
Please share the information on this bill:
Below the fold: An example of the type of program Beck and Heritage call socialism, 1984-ish, and dangerous.
These services, described below at the website of the Dalhart, Texas, Police Department, are similar to or exactly the same as those funded under H.R. 3200. Have Heritage Foundation people lost their minds, or their hearts, or their souls? The material below is almost exactly as it is on the Dalhart PD website.
Child abuse is an ongoing and growing epidemic in the United States and the world. No community, religion, ethnic, social or economic class is immune. Child abuse is a crime that has life-long effects that will forever change a young child’s life.
Child abuse comes in many different forms. Emotional, Physical, Medical, Mental and Sexual. Every minute of every day a child is abused in some form by their parents, family members or friends.
Make children a priority in your life. Help those who are unable to help themselves.
If you suspect child abuse is happening to a child please click the following link so that you can start the process of helping that child. If the abuse is an emergency and in progress… call 911.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Here are several links regarding child abuse and how you can stay informed and help the innocent.
Should we assume that the Heritage Foundation finds all of these programs to be unwarranted intrusions on Americans? How much child abuse must we tolerate before Heritage gets a clue?
Read it for yourself. Here is the section in question, from the text of H.R. 3200 (I apologize for the way the line numbers foul up the formatting — you can figure it out):
1 SEC. 1904. GRANTS TO STATES FOR QUALITY HOME VISITATION
PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG
3 CHILDREN AND FAMILIES EXPECTING CHILDREN.
5 Part B of title IV of the Social Security Act (42
6 U.S.C. 621–629i) is amended by adding at the end the
8 ‘‘Subpart 3—Support for Quality Home Visitation
10 ‘‘SEC. 440. HOME VISITATION PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES
11 WITH YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAMILIES EX12
13 ‘‘(a) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to im14
prove the well-being, health, and development of children
15 by enabling the establishment and expansion of high qual16
ity programs providing voluntary home visitation for fami17
lies with young children and families expecting children.
18 ‘‘(b) GRANT APPLICATION.—A State that desires to
19 receive a grant under this section shall submit to the Sec20
retary for approval, at such time and in such manner as
21 the Secretary may require, an application for the grant
22 that includes the following:
23 ‘‘(1) DESCRIPTION OF HOME VISITATION PRO24
GRAMS.—A description of the high quality programs
25 of home visitation for families with young children
26 and families expecting children that will be sup-
1 ported by a grant made to the State under this sec2
tion, the outcomes the programs are intended to
3 achieve, and the evidence supporting the effective4
ness of the programs.
5 ‘‘(2) RESULTS OF NEEDS ASSESSMENT.—The
6 results of a statewide needs assessment that de7
8 ‘‘(A) the number, quality, and capacity of
9 home visitation programs for families with
10 young children and families expecting children
11 in the State;
12 ‘‘(B) the number and types of families who
13 are receiving services under the programs;
14 ‘‘(C) the sources and amount of funding
15 provided to the programs;
16 ‘‘(D) the gaps in home visitation in the
17 State, including identification of communities
18 that are in high need of the services; and
19 ‘‘(E) training and technical assistance ac20
tivities designed to achieve or support the goals
21 of the programs.
22 ‘‘(3) ASSURANCES.—Assurances from the State
24 ‘‘(A) in supporting home visitation pro25
grams using funds provided under this section,
1 the State shall identify and prioritize serving
2 communities that are in high need of such serv3
ices, especially communities with a high propor4
tion of low-income families or a high incidence
5 of child maltreatment;
6 ‘‘(B) the State will reserve 5 percent of the
7 grant funds for training and technical assist8
ance to the home visitation programs using
9 such funds;
10 ‘‘(C) in supporting home visitation pro11
grams using funds provided under this section,
12 the State will promote coordination and collabo13
ration with other home visitation programs (in14
cluding programs funded under title XIX) and
15 with other child and family services, health
16 services, income supports, and other related as17
18 ‘‘(D) home visitation programs supported
19 using such funds will, when appropriate, pro20
vide referrals to other programs serving chil21
dren and families; and
22 ‘‘(E) the State will comply with subsection
23 (i), and cooperate with any evaluation con24
ducted under subsection (j).