Thursday, August 22, 2013

The $224 Million Obamacare 'Evidenced-Based" Home Visit Program

Your tax dollars at work: A little-known Obamacare program that spends $224 million for "evidenced based home visits" in order "to help parents and children":

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $224 million to help at-risk families voluntarily receive home visits from nurses and social workers to improve maternal and child health, child development, school readiness, economic self-sufficiency, and child abuse prevention.  As part of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, these grants are funded by the Affordable Care Act and are awarded to state agencies that applied for the grants in 49 states across the country.
“Home visiting programs play a critical role in the nation’s efforts to help children get off to a strong start. Parenting is a tough job, and helping parents succeed pays big dividends in a child’s well-being and healthy development,” said HHS Secretary Sebelius.
As with every government program, this one is couched in the language of good intentions: "We're the government and we're here to help". The key to what's going on with this program is the title of the press release:

HHS announces $224 million to support evidence-based home visiting programs to help parents and children

"Evidenced-based home visiting programs"  -- this is the key that exposes the "voluntarily" innocently slipped into the second paragraph. The commie-libs at the Daily KOS tried to use the "voluntarily" as cover to claim Fox News lied about the program. But that little term "evidence-based" is something they don't want to talk about. The term "evidenced based" -- way up in the press release I might add -- exposes the "voluntary" part to be the total BS that it is. If the bureaucracy is sitting around waiting for volunteers, what's with the "evidenced-based" business? We'll get to that.

Sure there may be some "at risk families" (whatever the hell that means) who are actually stupid enough to volunteer to have a bureaucrat poke around in their home. In fact there are some "at-risk families" that may need involuntary visits from a bureaucrats but there are already state social service agencies to handle this role. But there aren't enough "at risk families" voluntarily requesting aid to eat up a quarter of a billion dollars. Yet the grant money had to be spent. Witness this from the press release:
 Under the MIECHV program, states must use at least three-quarters of the funding provided to implement one or more of these evidence-based programs.
The old adage is true in nearly every case: Government programs expand in direct proportion to the money they are allocated whether those expenditures can be justified or not. Do you really think money-grubbing states are going to return the money if they don't spend three-quarters of it? Hell no!They'll spend every penny and come begging for more.  So, with that in mind, here's a quick rendition of how this "evidenced-based" "voluntary" program will work:

A bureaucrat obtains "evidence" that something is going on in the household that the bureaucracy may not approve of: Maybe the parents smoke, or own guns or have the wrong breed of dog, they may even (God forbid) feed their kids potato chips and hot dogs. The bureaucracy contacts the parents to question them about their "at-risk" behavior because of course "Research has shown that home visiting programs can improve outcomes for children and families, including improving maternal and child health, reducing child maltreatment blah de blah de frickin' blah ,,," to quote the press release.

The parent resists this intrusion into their household by the "well-meaning" bureaucrat and his or her bureaucracy that is bent on spending every penny of its "evidenced-based" grant money. The parent receives an ultimatum: "Voluntarily" submit to this intrusion into your home or risk having your kids involuntarily removed from your home. And that's how the Obamacare Nanny State rolls.

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