Tuesday, 11 August 2009

ObamaCare Shocker: Send in the Social Workers

Written by  Gregory A. Hession J.D.

Child CryingThe proposed Obama government healthcare bill has a government snitch network built into it, allowing social workers to gain access to your home under the pretext of checking on your new baby, or soon-to-be-born baby. It will result in many many more children being taken from families by state Child Protective Services agencies.

This is the fulfillment of a long-held dream by child protection agencies to gain access to homes, without first getting a report of abuse or neglect, as currently required by law. Mandated visits to homes by government agents has been a favorite cause of Hillary Clinton, and of the radical bureaucrats running the U.S. Administration of Children and Families.

This "home invasion" program is found on page 838 of the lengthy bill, in Section 1904, and it is called the "Home visitation programs for families with young children and families expecting children." The pretext on which the state agents would enter the home would be to "to improve the well-being, health, and development of children by enabling the establishment and expansion of high quality programs providing voluntary home visitation for families with young children and families expecting children." It sounds pretty innocuous, but based on my 15 years of fighting these bureaucrats in court on behalf of innocent families, it can be predicted that the way it will work in real life will be much more sinister.

Visits from the bureaucrats are voluntary in theory. (However, so are income taxes.) Here is how it will work: after your first appointment with your OB/GYN to confirm a pregnancy, the doctor will be required to report it to the leviathan healthcare bureaucracy. If you somehow fall through the cracks during the pregnancy, the birth hospital will do the honors of reporting you to the state. Then, chirpy social workers will show up at your house one day, and pressure you to allow them to come "voluntarily" into your house. These people are so-called "mandated reporters," who must report any abuse or neglect or potentially face fines and jail.

Certain populations will be targeted for this "help," and this should raise even more concern. Here is what the bill says: "The State shall identify and prioritize serving communities that are in high need of such services, especially communities with a high proportion of low-income families or a high incidence of child maltreatment." Translated, this means that poor and racial minority communities will be targeted, since they are more vulnerable and they cannot as readily access legal muscle to repel the invaders.

Once into your home, they will look around and find something, anything, to call "abuse" or "neglect." Their jobs depend on it, and you can be sure that the managers will set quotas, which will never be acknowledged. Then, they will open a case with a child protective services agency, and give you "services," whether you like it or not. In cases that they judge to be more serious, they will likely ask their legal department to bring a court case and possibly remove the children.

This is a backdoor means of obtaining agreement to go around the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and similar provisions in most state constitutions that prohibit entry into a home without a search warrant. If you agree, then you have waived your right to require a search warrant, which can only be authorized by a magistrate or judge on probable cause that a crime has or is being committed.

This part of the Obama healthcare bill is terrifying, and the numbers of children taken from families, as well as those who will have to endure weekly or monthly visits from a social worker, will increase manyfold. This conclusion is not speculative, as it is the whole reason for mandating these visits to homes in the first place. If they did not expect to kidnap more children and to open many more administrative cases, the provision would not have been there.

This is the first installment in a series looking at various fine-print provisions of the proposed Obama healthcare bill that deprive citizens of rights, or are of particular concern owing to their likely intrusion on personal privacy or family autonomy. Check back frequently for further parts in this series, where we will isolate and analyze the scariest parts of the 1017 page Obama healthcare bill.

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