J. Michael Smith, Esq.
Michael P. Farris, Esq.
Calls Needed: Government Home Visitations in the Health Care Reform Bill
William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations
March 15, 2010
We have previously encouraged you to call your U.S. representative and urge him or her to oppose the health care reform bill that is heading toward a vote in the U.S. House. We urge you to continue your calls. It is very likely that the U.S. House will vote on the health care reform bill this week.
HSLDA is aware of the high cost of health insurance and the problems this creates for individuals, families and businesses. HSLDA’s mission leaves us neutral on the issue of health care reform in general. However, HSLDA believes that the current health care reform legislation in Congress poses a serious threat to parental rights and homeschool freedom.
The problem is found in Section 2951 on page 568 of this 2,074-page bill. This section is titled Maternal, Infant, And Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs, and will create a federal grant program to fund state home visitation programs. Under the terms of this program, government officials, including social workers, will be able to visit the homes of certain families “in order to promote improvements in maternal and prenatal health, infant health, child health and development, parenting related to child development outcomes, school readiness, and the socio-economic status of such families, and reductions in child abuse, neglect, and injuries.”
The home visitation program in the health care reform bill is voluntary. However, all the details of the home visitation programs are open to being politically influenced by government bureaucrats who may think that they know more about parenting than do parents. They may pressure parents to adopt child-rearing methods that are against the family's religious beliefs. Home visitation officials may even threaten families with abuse and neglect investigations if the families do not choose to follow the official parenting education models.
And fundamentally, HSLDA believes that the federal government has no constitutional authority to fund and oversee home visitation programs and parenting classes. Once the federal government gets a foot into the door of families’ homes, will it ever stop?
These home visitations are the reason why HSLDA is opposing the health care reform bill.
There is still a very strong chance that the U.S. House of Representatives may approve the Senate’s health care reform bill that was passed on Christmas Eve. We ask you to call your U.S. representative and respectfully urge him or her to oppose the health care reform bill. There is no need to identify yourself as a homeschooler, because this bill will affect all Americans. You can use some or all of the following message:
“Please oppose the health care reform bill. Congress should not force an unpopular bill upon Americans, especially one that increases the power of the federal government and increases the national debt. I am also opposed the bill’s creation of government home visitation programs. Parents, not federal or state officials, should make child rearing decisions for their young children.”
You can reach your U.S. representative by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or toll-free at 866-220-0044. You can find your U.S. representative by using HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.
| Other Resources|
For more information on the health care reform bill that passed the Senate and will be voted on by the House, please read HSLDA’s Legislative Analysis.