When Chuck Norris popped up in my search results while I was researching the health care reform bill, my first thought was “Who does he think he is?”, followed quickly by, “But then, who do I think I am?”
Norris has decided to uncover the dirty secrets of the health care reform bill on Townhall.com. The first dirty secret is about parenting. Norris is outraged that the government would fund “home visitation programs for families with young children and families expecting children.” He thinks this is equivalent to “the government’s coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development.”
Oh, Chuck. You’re making me read the actual bill again. Hang on. Where the heck did I put that thing? It’s over 1000 pages long, you’d think I could find it around here.
Here we go. Subpart 3, Support for Quality Home Visitation Programs. Um, I just don’t see it, Chuck. They use the exact words “voluntary home visitation.” It doesn’t say anywhere that parents shall be required to participate. And even if parents do participate, and then they find that the home visitor’s ideas of parenting don’t line up with their own, they’re free to drop out of the program.
I know, because I’ve taken part in this type of program. Shortly after our first child was born, we were told that we could have a visiting nurse come to our home to check on the baby and answer any questions we might have. As new parents, we thought that was a great idea. The nurse weighed and measured the baby, and gave us some advice on feeding and sleeping and preventing diaper rash. We didn’t agree with all of it. We took what was useful and left the rest.
We also participated in a weekly visitor program when our baby was a little older. Someone came out once a week to see how we were doing, and provide support in any way she could. Mostly she was someone that we could talk to about our challenges, parental, financial, etc. – like a mini counseling session. She even brought us free diapers and baby food a few times. When we didn’t need this any more, we dropped out.
Now, I could see arguing that the government doesn’t need to fund this. Parental support can also be provided by extended family, churches, and non-profit organizations. That’s a reasonable argument. But Norris’s argument is that the government would be taking control of our parenting decisions. He calls this voluntary home visitation program “Obamacare’s home intrusion and indoctrination family services, in which state agents prioritize houses to enter and enforce their universal values and principles upon the hearts and minds of families across America.” And that’s just not in this bill.
Oh, you can argue that it could happen. The government could use this legislation as an excuse to take things further.
But that’s a big maybe. I mean, I could decide to go out and kill someone right now. But I’m not going to. And if I did, you’d do something about it, right? Just like, if the government did become truly dangerous, I think we’d do something about it.
Instead of a reasonable argument, Norris is using scare tactics, and that’s not cool.
What will you have for us next, Chuck?