Rush told me this so it must be true. Sarah Palin said the same thing. She also said they want to kill her baby. We must stop them before it is too late.
Does anyone truly believe these claims?
According to conservative web sites and pundits the health care reform sponsored by Democrats will lead to “death panels” that will decide who lives and who dies. If you listen to talk radio you are told that the “evil libruls” want to kill off all of the old people in order to save money on health care. They never explain how this matches with their claims that liberals are all about tax and spend. That liberals never met an expensive program they didn’t like. According to them, it’s not liberals that want to save money, it is conservatives that are supposed to be all about cutting spending.
The conflict between their claims that ‘evil libruls’ want to go to extreme lengths to save money and at the same time are spendthrifts who only want to get as much of your tax dollars as possible isn’t the only paradox in their arguments. They also need to explain how the party that has always been for the weak and defenseless is all of a sudden going to turn on the very types of people they have always defended. On the other hand, when have conservatives ever shown the least bit of concern for the elderly or the disabled?
I could write far more about these nonsensical claims, but they don’t deserve the amount of attention I’ve already given them. They are fabricated out of thin air in an attempt to scare people.
The conservatives have labeled their opponents as “tax-and-spend liberals.” The liberals can and should name their political opponents as “fear-mongering conservatives.” It seems to be all they can do – spread fear. I guess that’s what happens when your core governing policies have been shown to be failures.
The “death panels” lie isn’t the only one that conservative pundits are spreading. They also claim any public plan option in the bill amounts to “taking over one-sixth of our economy.” In order to believe this lie you have to ignore the fact that the government is already paying for 40% of the health care in this country. You also have to ignore the fact that a public option is a small part of a national health care exchange that will give consumers far more choice when it comes to health insurance than they have now.
Facts have nothing to do with conservative claims. They invent their own reality. In fact, the Bush administration proudly announced that “we make our own reality.” It is becoming more and more clear that this wasn’t a hyperbolic claim. It is how they think.
One final example of this fantasy-based thinking can be found in another claim conservatives are making about the health care reform bill in the House of Representatives. H.R. 3200 has a section dealing with home consultations for expectant parents or those with pre-school children. Sounds scary doesn’t it.
Here’s what the Alliance for Seperation of School and State had to say about it.
Obviously, some legislators (and, no doubt, some special interests goading them on) are bent on robbing the American people of one of the most basic and important foundations of liberty – the right to bring up our children free of government interference.
Without the liberty to rear and educate our children as we see fit, free of state pressure and control, all other liberties are at risk. The state has myriad ways of eating away at our freedom. Exploiting the most vulnerable of society and working up from there is one way.
They also state that:
How would you feel about government employees coming into your home to teach you how best to rear your children?
Sound like the plot of a futuristic novel? Unfortunately, it’s not.
That’s exactly what H.R. 3200, the national health care bill currently under consideration by Congress and being pushed by the president, provides for.
The bill offers funding to states to send government officials into private homes to teach moms and dads how to rear children according to state-approved criteria developed by “experts” and covering every imaginable aspect of parenting.
Notice the scare quotes around “experts”? This is a necessary part of creating your own reality. You have to ignore those who actually know something about a subject.
If you’ve been exposed to this kind of thinking before you can begin to read between the lines. What they seem to be claiming here is that the government will come into your home with the intention of brainwashing you and your children.
Now you shouldn’t get the impression that conservatives are only worried about themselves. They are showing concern for those less fortunate than themselves. It’s called compassionate conservatism. You know, the kind that G. W. Bush brought to us.
the most vulnerable would be targeted first – low income families, non-English-speaking families
So what is in H.R.3200 that could inspire this fear of government control and brainwashing? It isn’t as if they would make up fraudulent claims in order to scare people. Well, yeah, they did that with “death panels” and “taking over one-sixth of our economy” and “socialism”, but this is about our kids. Surely there must be a reason for this fear.
The Heritage Foundation thinks so:
Section 440 of the House bill – Home Visitation Programs for Families with Young Children and Families Expecting Children – would provide grants to states to establish home visitation programs to educate parents on child behavior and parenting skills. The “well-trained and competent staff” will:
…provide parents with knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains…modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices; [and] skills to interact with their child…
Ooooh, sounds scary.
The Home School Legal Defense Association thinks so:
[This bill should be opposed because it would] [e]ncourage states to pressure families to enroll their children in these home visitation programs… Page 843 requires states that receive grants from the federal government to “provide voluntary home visitation for as many families with young children and families expecting children as practicable, through the implementation or expansion of high quality home visitation programs….
Oh, NOES! “high quality home visitation programs.” What will those evil libruls come up with next?
The National Home Education Legal Defense warns:
The House version of the health care legislation, H.R. 3200… contains many provisions that are worthy of questioning, not the least of which is Section 440….
This section of the bill authorizes the provision of federal money to be given to the states on the condition that the states will develop certain programs that include “voluntary home visits” by government officials.
The visits by government officials will be through the implementation of programs that, among other things:
“adhere to clear evidence-based models of home visitation that have demonstrated positive effects on important program-determined child and parenting outcomes, such as reducing abuse and neglect and improving child health and development”;
“establish appropriate linkages and referrals to other community resources and supports”;
“monitor fidelity of program implementation to ensure that services are delivered according to the specified model”;
“provide parents with– knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains…”
- knowledge of realistic expectations of age-appropriate child behaviors;
- knowledge of health and wellness issues for children and parents;
- modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices; and
skills to recognize and seek help for issues related to health, developmental delays, and social, emotional, and behavioral skills…
OH, MY GOD!!!!!1! This sounds horrible!
Now that we’ve seen the wingnut version of reality let’s take a rational look at this section of the bill.
It has been established knowledge based on multiple studies over the years that neglect and abuse during the early years of a child’s life can lead to physical and mental health issues later in life. It is also established knowledge based on studies by “experts” in the field that parental education can lead to better outcomes in the form of better nutrition, less abuse, and less neglect. It has also been shown that children who receive better care based on these principles do better in school.
Now any rational person would look at this part of the bill and think, “This is a good idea.” Wingnuts look at these provisions and think, “Oh no, the government is trying to take over your family.” This is called “creating your own reality.”
Here is the text of Section 440 of H.R.3200 so you can read it and make up your own mind about this latest wingnut claim.
Sorry for the poor formatting. This is copied and pasted from the official pdf document available online at http://energycommerce.house.go…
•HR 3200 IH
1 SEC. 1904. GRANTS TO STATES FOR QUALITY HOME VISITA2
TION PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG
3 CHILDREN AND FAMILIES EXPECTING CHIL4
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
12 EXPECTING CHILDREN.
13 ”(a) PURPOSE.-The purpose of this section is to im
14 prove the well-being, health, and development of children
15 by enabling the establishment and expansion of high quality
16 programs providing voluntary home visitation for families
17 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 Secretary
20 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 PROGRAMS.
24-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 section,
2 the outcomes the programs are intended to
3 achieve, and the evidence supporting the effectiveness
4 of the programs.
5 ”(2) RESULTS OF NEEDS ASSESSMENT.-The
6 results of a statewide needs assessment that de
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 ac
20 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 pro
25 grams using funds provided under this section,
•HR 3200 IH
1 the State shall identify and prioritize serving
2 communities that are in high need of such serv
3 ices, especially communities with a high propor
4 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 assist
8 ance to the home visitation programs using
9 such funds;
10 ”(C) in supporting home visitation pro
11 grams using funds provided under this section,
12 the State will promote coordination and collabo13
ration with other home visitation programs (in
14 cluding programs funded under title XIX) and
15 with other child and family services, health
16 services, income supports, and other related as
18 ”(D) home visitation programs supported
19 using such funds will, when appropriate, pro
20 vide referrals to other programs serving chil
21 dren and families; and
22 ”(E) the State will comply with subsection
23 (i), and cooperate with any evaluation con
24 ducted under subsection (j).
•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(4) OTHER INFORMATION.-Such other infor2
mation as the Secretary may require.
3 ”(c) ALLOTMENTS.-
4 ”(1) INDIAN TRIBES.-From the amount re5
served under subsection (l)(2) for a fiscal year, the
6 Secretary shall allot to each Indian tribe that meets
7 the requirement of subsection (d), if applicable, for
8 the fiscal year the amount that bears the same ratio
9 to the amount so reserved as the number of children
10 in the Indian tribe whose families have income that
11 does not exceed 200 percent of the poverty line bears
12 to the total number of children in such Indian tribes
13 whose families have income that does not exceed 200
14 percent of the poverty line.
15 ”(2) STATES AND TERRITORIES.-From the
16 amount appropriated under subsection (m) for a fis17
cal year that remains after making the reservations
18 required by subsection (l), the Secretary shall allot
19 to each State that is not an Indian tribe and that
20 meets the requirement of subsection (d), if applica21
ble, for the fiscal year the amount that bears the
22 same ratio to the remainder of the amount so appro23
priated as the number of children in the State whose
24 families have income that does not exceed 200 per25
cent of the poverty line bears to the total number of
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•HR 3200 IH
1 children in such States whose families have income
2 that does not exceed 200 percent of the poverty line.
3 ”(3) REALLOTMENTS.-The amount of any al4
lotment to a State under a paragraph of this sub5
section for any fiscal year that the State certifies to
6 the Secretary will not be expended by the State pur7
suant to this section shall be available for reallot8
ment using the allotment methodology specified in
9 that paragraph. Any amount so reallotted to a State
10 is deemed part of the allotment of the State under
11 this subsection.
12 ”(d) MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT.-Beginning with
13 fiscal year 2011, a State meets the requirement of this
14 subsection for a fiscal year if the Secretary finds that the
15 aggregate expenditures by the State from State and local
16 sources for programs of home visitation for families with
17 young children and families expecting children for the then
18 preceding fiscal year was not less than 100 percent of such
19 aggregate expenditures for the then 2nd preceding fiscal
21 ”(e) PAYMENT OF GRANT.-
22 ”(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary shall make a
23 grant to each State that meets the requirements of
24 subsections (b) a
nd (d), if applicable, for a fiscal
25 year for which funds are appropriated under sub-
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•HR 3200 IH
1 section (m), in an amount equal to the reimbursable
2 percentage of the eligible expenditures of the State
3 for the fiscal year, but not more than the amount
4 allotted to the State under subsection (c) for the fis5
6 ”(2) REIMBURSABLE PERCENTAGE DEFINED.-
7 In paragraph (1), the term ‘reimbursable percent8
age’ means, with respect to a fiscal year-
9 ”(A) 85 percent, in the case of fiscal year
11 ”(B) 80 percent, in the case of fiscal year
12 2011; or
13 ”(C) 75 percent, in the case of fiscal year
14 2012 and any succeeding fiscal year.
15 ”(f) ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURES.-
16 ”(1) IN GENERAL.-In this section, the term
17 ‘eligible expenditures’-
18 ”(A) means expenditures to provide vol19
untary home visitation for as many families
20 with young children (under the age of school
21 entry) and families expecting children as prac22
ticable, through the implementation or expan23
sion of high quality home visitation programs
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(i) adhere to clear evidence-based
2 models of home visitation that have dem3
onstrated positive effects on important pro4
gram-determined child and parenting out5
comes, such as reducing abuse and neglect
6 and improving child health and develop7
8 ”(ii) employ well-trained and com9
petent staff, maintain high quality super10
vision, provide for ongoing training and
11 professional development, and show strong
12 organizational capacity to implement such
13 a program;
14 ”(iii) establish appropriate linkages
15 and referrals to other community resources
16 and supports;
17 ”(iv) monitor fidelity of program im18
plementation to ensure that services are
19 delivered according to the specified model;
21 ”(v) provide parents with-
22 ”(I) knowledge of age-appro23
priate child development in cognitive,
24 language, social, emotional, and motor
25 domains (including knowledge of sec-
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ond language acquisition, in the case
2 of English language learners);
3 ”(II) knowledge of realistic ex4
pectations of age-appropriate child be5
6 ”(III) knowledge of health and
7 wellness issues for children and par8
9 ”(IV) modeling, consulting, and
10 coaching on parenting practices;
11 ”(V) skills to interact with their
12 child to enhance age-appropriate de13
14 ”(VI) skills to recognize and seek
15 help for issues related to health, devel16
opmental delays, and social, emo17
tional, and behavioral skills; and
18 ”(VII) activities designed to help
19 parents become full partners in the
20 education of their children;
21 ”(B) includes expenditures for training,
22 technical assistance, and evaluations related to
23 the programs; and
24 ”(C) does not include any expenditure with
25 respect to which a State has submitted a claim
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•HR 3200 IH
1 for payment under any other provision of Fed2
3 ”(2) PRIORITY FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS WITH
4 STRONGEST EVIDENCE.-
5 ”(A) IN GENERAL.-The expenditures, de6
scribed in paragraph (1), of a State for a fiscal
7 year that are attributable to the cost of pro8
grams that do not adhere to a model of home
9 visitation with the strongest evidence of effec10
tiveness shall not be considered eligible expendi11
tures for the fiscal year to the extent that the
12 total of the expenditures exceeds the applicable
13 percentage for the fiscal year of the allotment
14 of the State under subsection (c) for the fiscal
16 ”(B) APPLICABLE PERCENTAGE DE17
FINED.-In subparagraph (A), the term ‘appli18
cable percentage’ means, with respect to a fiscal
20 ”(i) 60 percent for fiscal year 2010;
21 ”(ii) 55 percent for fiscal year 2011;
22 ”(iii) 50 percent for fiscal year 2012;
23 ”(iv) 45 percent for fiscal year 2013;
25 ”(v) 40 percent for fiscal year 2014.
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(g) NO USE OF OTHER FEDERAL FUNDS FOR
2 STATE MATCH.-A State to which a grant is made under
3 this section may not expend any Federal funds to meet
4 the State share of the cost of an eligible expenditure for
5 which the State receives a payment under this section.
6 ”(h) WAIVER AUTHORITY.-
7 ”(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary may waive
8 or modify the application of any provision of this
9 section, other than subsection (b) or (f), to an In10
dian tribe if the failure to do so would impose an
11 undue burden on the Indian tribe.
12 ”(2) SPECIAL RULE.-An Indian tribe is
13 deemed to meet the requirement of subsection (d)
14 for purposes of subsections (c) and (e) if-
15 ”(A) the Secretary waives the requirement;
17 ”(B) the Secretary modifies the require18
ment, and the Indian tribe meets the modified
20 ”(i) STATE REPORTS.-Each State to which a grant
21 is made under this section shall submit to the Secretary
22 an annual report on the progress made by the State in
23 addressing the purposes of this section. Each such report
24 shall include a description of-
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(1) the services delivered by the programs that
2 received funds from the grant;
3 ”(2) the characteristics of each such program,
4 including information on the service model used by
5 the program and the performance of the program;
6 ”(3) the characteristics of the providers of serv7
ices through the program, including staff qualifica8
tions, work experience, and demographic characteris9
10 ”(4) the characteristics of the recipients of serv11
ices provided through the program, including the
12 number of the recipients, the demographic charac13
teristics of the recipients, and family retention;
14 ”(5) the annual cost of implementing the pro15
gram, including the cost per family served under the
17 ”(6) the outcomes experienced by recipients of
18 services through the program;
19 ”(7) the training and technical assistance pro20
vided to aid implementation of the program, and
21 how the training and technical assistance contrib22
uted to the outcomes achieved through the program;
23 ”(8) the indicators and methods used to mon24
itor whether the program is being implemented as
25 designed; and
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(9) other information as determined necessary
2 by the Secretary.
3 ”(j) EVALUATION.-
4 ”(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary shall, by
5 grant or contract, provide for the conduct of an
6 independent evaluation of the effectiveness of home
7 visitation programs receiving funds provided under
8 this section, which shall examine the following:
9 ”(A) The effect of home visitation pro10
grams on child and parent outcomes, including
11 child maltreatment, child health and develop12
ment, school readiness, and links to community
14 ”(B) The effectiveness of home visitation
15 programs on different populations, including
16 the extent to which the ability of programs to
17 improve outcomes varies across programs and
19 ”(2) REPORTS TO THE CONGRESS.-
20 ”(A) INTERIM REPORT.-Within 3 years
21 after the date of the enactment of this section,
22 the Secretary shall submit to the Congress an
23 interim report on the evaluation conducted pur24
suant to paragraph (1).
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(B) FINAL REPORT.-Within 5 years
2 after the date of the enactment of this section,
3 the Secretary shall submit to the Congress a
4 final report on the evaluation conducted pursu5
ant to paragraph (1).
6 ”(k) ANNUAL REPORTS TO THE CONGRESS.-The
7 Secretary shall submit annually to the Congress a report
8 on the activities carried out using funds made available
9 under this section, which shall include a description of the
11 ”(1) The high need communities targeted by
12 States for programs carried out under this section.
13 ”(2) The service delivery models used in the
14 programs receiving funds provided under this sec15
16 ”(3) The characteristics of the programs, in17
18 ”(A) the qualifications and demographic
19 characteristics of program staff; and
20 ”(B) recipient characteristics including the
21 number of families served, the demographic
22 characteristics of the families served, and fam23
ily retention and duration of services.
24 ”(4) The outcomes reported by the programs.
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(5) The research-based instruction, materials,
2 and activities being used in the activities funded
3 under the grant.
4 ”(6) The training and technical activities, in5
cluding on-going professional development, provided
6 to the programs.
7 ”(7) The annual costs of implementing the pro8
grams, including the cost per family served under
9 the programs.
10 ”(8) The indicators and methods used by States
11 to monitor whether the programs are being been im12
plemented as designed.
13 ”(l) RESERVATIONS OF FUNDS.-From the amounts
14 appropriated for a fiscal year under subsection (m), the
15 Secretary shall reserve-
16 ”(1) an amount equal to 5 percent of the
17 amounts to pay the cost of the evaluation provided
18 for in subsection (j), and the provision to States of
19 training and technical assistance, including the dis20
semination of best practices in early childhood home
21 visitation; and
22 ”(2) after making the reservation required by
23 paragraph (1), an amount equal to 3 percent of the
24 amount so appropriated, to pay for grants to Indian
25 tribes under this section.
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•HR 3200 IH
1 ”(m) APPROPRIATIONS.-Out of any money in the
2 Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated,
3 there is appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this
5 ”(1) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2010;
6 ”(2) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2011;
7 ”(3) $150,000,000 for fiscal year 2012;
8 ”(4) $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2013; and
9 ”(5) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2014.
10 ”(n) INDIAN TRIBES TREATED AS STATES.-In this
11 section, paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of section 431(a)
12 shall apply.”.