The Affordable Health Care Act or Obamacare, has been continuously in the headlines for a couple of years, now. In a section that grants money to states wanting to “enhance” their home visit programs, it will grant millions of dollars and powers to force home visits. Under this section, government officials, will be able to create an almost unlimited source of reasons for forcing home visits/inspections. Everything from homes with parents under 21 years old to tobacco users to military service members, especially those who have served overseas.
Under the “Affordable Care Act-Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program” section, it sets the requirements for being able to receive the grant money. The idea behind this section, is supposedly to help parents and children but will impact many more. Under this section, government agents, will pay special attention to those households that have “high risk” persons. Households that have a mother under 21, tobacco users, children with low student achievement, developmental delays or disabilities. Another category, will itself effect millions of people. Those families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including families that have members of the armed forces who had multiple deployments outside the U.S.
In a report by The Examiner, constitutional attorney, Kent Masterson Brown, said that “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, my 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 makes the claim that this only effects families on medicaid, the law by it’s definition does not make that specification.
Brown added, “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.”
These home visits, will require documentation of all kinds of personal information and tracking of these visits. Income, to home condition, firearms, history of contact with child welfare agencies will be placed in a database.
Staring in fiscal year 2012, $12 million will be awarded and an additional $125 million will be available for additional awards. According to the law, only government entities at the state level, are eligible for the grant money.
According to Joshua Cook, political journalist in South Carolina, said that State Rep. Bill Chumley introduced a measure to make the home visits illegal in South Carolina, but the measure died in the House.
This measure has a potential for providing money to child welfare agencies to improve their overseeing of child safety. The problem is, it has overstepped it’s authority and lumping people into a high risk group that may not and most likely, do not need to be there. Not to mention, they have nothing to do with child welfare. There is a lot of room for abuse of authority in this law. As stated earlier, the law can be interpreted in so many different ways and will affect millions of people and this is just one very small part of the complete act. Imagine what is written in the other thousands of pages in the law.