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Constitutional Attorney Refutes Politifact’s Claim that We Lied About Obamacare Forced Home Inspections

October 3, 2013

Back in August, we published an article called Obamacare Provision:  “Forced” Home Inspections. Our  exclusive went viral and received different reactions. Many Americans are  concerned that this provision is another way the government can intrude on their  rights and privacy. Others were skeptical that this measure is “forced” or  “mandated” by the federal government.

pants-on-fire1Politifact.com picked up the story and ruled that the  claim that a provision of the new health care law will allow “forced” home  inspections by government agents as false. “We rate the claim Pants on Fire”  stated the article.

Joshua Cook asked Kent Brown, constitutional attorney and expert on Obamacare,  to respond to Politifact.com’s claim. Brown provides even more disturbing facts  regarding this controversial Obamacare provision and responds to PolitiFact.com  below:

It was amusing to read Politifact.com’s article about the hue and cry raised  over Federally-mandated and financed home visits under the Patient Protection  and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Politifact.com does not just provide its  opinion, of course, it provides a “ruling.” It is the self-proclaimed neutral  and final authority on statutory interpretation. In this case, its ruling was  that the Obamacare provision regarding home visits does nothing more than  “provide grants for voluntary help to at-risk families for trained staff like  nurses and social workers.”(1)

To arrive at that ruling, Politifact.com interviewed two ardent advocates of  Obamacare, Sara Rosenbaum and Kay Johnson, as well as Samantha Miller, “a  spokeswoman for the U.S. agency administering the program.” Rosenbaum touts  herself as the author of some of the Clinton Health Security Act. (2) Those  three persons discussed their past experiences with the Maternal, Infant and  Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, all of which are totally irrelevant to  the discussion of any new program prompted by the Obama administration.  Politifact.com then pointed to Section 511(e)(7)(A) of  Obamacare which states that, in applying for a grant to serve as the agency that  conducts such home visitations, “the entity [applying] will establish procedures  to assure [the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  (“Secretary”)] that…the participation of each eligible family in the program is  voluntary….” Voluntariness is left solely to the discretion of the Secretary. On  the basis of that – and that alone – Politifact.com “ruled” that citizens’  concerns about Federally-financed home visitations are not well taken. (3)

It is not necessary to delve into Politifact.com’s bias; that is well known.  It has been known to cover for groups like ACORN while attacking Michelle  Bachman, and has been found rating statements by Republicans false at three  times the rate it does Democrats. One study discovered Politifact.com finding  Republicans lie nine times more than the left. (4) But beyond Politifact.com’s  notorious bias, its “ruling” in this matter is astonishingly naive and flatly  wrong.

Rosenbaum presents an interesting case.  In 1993 and 1994, I was the  lead counsel in a case in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. which  sought to open the meetings and records of the Clinton Health Task  Force. AAPS et al. v. Hillary R. Clinton, et al., Civil Action No.  93-399. Brought under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App., I had  to illustrate that the task force was not composed of “entirely full-time  officers and employees of the Federal government” in order to prevail. I found  that the working groups of the task force contained hundreds of individuals who  were not Federal officials or employees. One of those individuals found in  Working Group 22, Subpart D, “Population-Based Public Health and Prevention,”  was Sara Rosenbaum of George Washington University Center for Health Policy  Research. She still works there. In an effort to make it appear as though she  was a Federal official or employee, she repeatedly signed in as “White House.”  Her phone number on the logs, however, gave her away as I found that it was a  number at George Washington University Center for Health Policy. The ruse didn’t  work.

To begin, Obamacare unleashes a dizzying array of “social transformation”  programs which have received almost no attention when compared to the absolutely  catastrophic health insurance aspects of the monstrous bill. Among the social  transformation aspects of Obamacare are: the creation and funding of  school-based clinics (which are nothing more than contraception and abortion  counseling centers) designed to “reduce pregnancy and birth  rates for youth populations” so as to meet “State-established  goals;”(5) the requiring of “digital electronic quality data” from every  physician, (6) the grouping of physicians into Federally-authorized “accountable  care organizations;”( 7) the mandating that private not-for-profit hospitals  provide what likely will be a prohibitive amount of free and discounted health  care as a condition of they maintaining their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status; (8)  and the providing of grants to States and community-based organizations to  “create the infrastructure to support active living and access to nutritious  foods in a safe environment,” and to create “statewide needs assessments” to  assess and implement “worksite wellness programming and incentives, highlight  healthy options in restaurants and other food venues and implement strategies to  reduce racial and ethnic disparities, including social, economic, and geographic  determinants of health.”(9)

Then comes the “Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.”  (10) Under that program, payments to the States under Medicaid will be  conditioned upon the States conducting yet another “statewide needs assessment”  that “identifies communities” with concentrations of various birth issues,  poverty, crime, domestic violence, high rates of high school dropouts, substance  abuse, unemployment or child maltreatment, the quality and capacity of existing  home visitation, etc. (11) Grants are then made to entities, public or private,  that illustrate to the Secretary they will, “with respect to eligible families,”  demonstrate that the program will result in “improvements in prenatal, maternal  and newborn health,” including improved pregnancy outcomes,” “improvements in  cognitive, language, social-emotional, and physical developmental indicators,”  “improvements in parenting skills,” “improvements in school readiness and child  academic achievement” and “improvements in family economic self- sufficiency.”  (12) Once the needs assessments are made, the statute calls for interventions –  home visits – which will continue until “improvements” are made!

The entity making the home visits must take into consideration the statewide  needs assessment created under the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home  Visiting Program, but it must also take into consideration  “other appropriate needs assessments conducted by the State, as  determined by the Secretary.”    That would include the  needs assessment for “community transformation.”(13)

An “eligible family” includes any woman who is pregnant and the father” if  available, or “any parent or primary caregiver of a child.” There is no  reference to the eligible families being those receiving Medicaid, or any other  public assistance. (14) The definition of an eligible family literally includes  everyone who has a child or children. Targeted for home visits are those  “eligible families” that have “users of tobacco products,” “children with low  student achievement,” “children with developmental delays and disabilities, and  those families “serving in the armed forces.” (15)

The fact of the matter is, home visits under this program have  been employed by the Federal government before and are being employed now. They  have been, and are being made without any prior announcement or notice to the  eligible family. The entity receiving the grant to perform the home visits was,  and is, required to identify the eligible families to be visited and intervene  so as to meet the improvement benchmarks. It is a Federally-mandated and  financed home visitation program. These are not visits “requested” by  eligible families; they are visits to eligible families that have been  identified by the contracting entity, and the entity must show the Federal  government its intervention has shown improvement. These are visits  mandated from the top, not requested from below.

Contrary to Politifact.com, there are no standards established by the statute  for those who make the home visits. All it requires for the grantee to  illustrate is that it “employs well-trained and competent staff…such as nurses,  social workers, educators, child development specialists or other  well-trained and competent staff.” The standards are entirely left up to  the Secretary to determine.” (16)

If the entity conducting the home visits fails to demonstrate “improvement”  with respect to the eligible families being visited, the statute calls for it to  submit a “corrective action plan” to “improve the outcomes.” That plan must be  approved by the Secretary, and the Secretary will monitor its  implementation. Thus, there is a perverse economic incentive for the  home visitor to illustrate he/she has brought about improvements with respect to  each eligible family. (17)

If all of the foregoing is not enough, Congress appropriated a whopping  $400,000,000.00 for fiscal year 2013 to carry out the program. Another  $400,000,000.00 is appropriated for 2014. Between 2010 and 2012, Congress spent  $700,000,000.00 on the program. (18)

Are these visits only to eligible families on some public assistance program?  No. Are these visits required by the statute to be announced ahead of time? No.  Does the statute provide for a home visit only if it is  requested?  No.  Does the statute provide to the eligible families any  rights for their protection of their privacy? No. Does the statute even define  what is and what is not a “voluntary home visit”? No. A voluntary home visit is  what the Secretary and her bureaucrats say it is.  There are absolutely no  objective standards in the statute for the protection of the eligible families  being visited.

A homeschooling family may be subject to “intervention” in “school readiness”  and “social-emotional developmental indicators.” And what if the home visitor,  without prior notice, knocks on the door of a homeschooling family, informs the  person answering the door that he/she is investigating the premises pursuant to  a Federal program, and, out of fright or intimidation, the person answering the  door lets him/her inside? Is that voluntary? And what if the home visitor, once  inside the home, sees a shotgun in the corner of a room, or an open liquor  cabinet? What if the home visitor sees a child eating fatty foods, or, in the  case of a farm family, a child riding on a tractor with his father? What then?  Does that call for intervention? Yes. Those “deficiencies” call for intervention  under the statute.

Inspections of this nature may be friendly; they may even be supportive. But,  as one person who home-schooled her children and who was subject to similar  inspections in another country remarked: “They made us feel controlled,  dissatisfied, and unsafe.” (19) That person and her family fled their country  just before the situation turned ugly.

The fact remains, the purpose of Obamacare is to “transform communities;” its  provisions are directed to what we eat, how and where we work, how we live, how  we raise our children, how and from whom we get our health care, what our  children are taught in school and a host of other things. The wording of the new  section is loose; it is so loose that it is mischievous. No matter what  its proponents say it is, the home visitation program will be used by the  Federal government for whatever ends it determines.

I have been a litigator, challenging the validity of Federal statutes,  regulations and conduct, for forty years. I can say with complete confidence  that the Secretary will define the powers granted to the Department of Health  and Human Services by this provision in any way that expands its authority or  achieves its ends. The Federal courts give deference to those interpretations in  the vast number of cases. That is the sad state of our Republic these days. All  the Secretary needs is the open door; the agency will make of it whatever it  desires. With this provision, I see nothing but danger ahead, particularly in  the lawless era of the Obama administration that does what it pleases with the  enforcement of the laws.

Editor’s Note:  This should not only suffice to be a  refutation of Politifact.com’s claim of “Pants on Fire,” but also the left wing  propaganda outlet known as Snopes.com.  Exposing tyranny is also probably one of the other reasons that Dianne  Feinstein wants to determine who is and who is not a journalist.

 

Credit To:  Joshua Cook / Freedom Outpost

http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/10/constitutional-attorney-refutes-politifacts-claim-lied-obamacare-forced-home-inspections/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

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