NOTE: I am NOT the author of the below, but I do feel that this information needs to get out there. Please call your Representative and demand they vote NO on this Bill. Read on:
H.R. 3200—"America' s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009"
H.R. 3200 is expected to be on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as early as this week. Please call your U.S. representative and urge him or her to oppose the federal government's takeover of health care. You should not identify yourself as a homeschooler. You can use some or all of the following message:
"Please oppose H.R. 3200, the `America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.' In a time of economic hardship, the federal government should not take on a program that will double our national debt. I am also opposed to H.R. 3200's creation of home visitation/early education programs through grants to the states. Parents, not federal or state officials, should make child-rearing decisions for their young children. Additionally, H.R. 3200 will expand the federal government's role and will interfere with medical decisions between me and my doctor, as well as use my tax dollars to pay someone else's abortion."
You can find the contact information for your U.S. representative by using HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox.
H.R. 3200 is President Barack Obama's signature health care reform bill. While the United States has one of the best systems of private health care in the world, no one would disagree that reforms are needed. Unfortunately, H.R. 3200 has numerous flaws, and would create far more problems than it would fix. The following points discuss some of the major flaws with this bill.
7/14/2009 Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
7/14/2009 Referred to Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on Education and Labor.
7/17/2009 Passed by the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Education and Labor.
Sponsor: Rep. John Dingell (MI)
Bill Summary and Status H.R. 3200
Bill Text (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
H. R. 3200 is too expensive: H.R. 3200 is over 1,000 pages long. The complicated plan it presents would cost at least $1 trillion. The federal government will have to raise taxes in order to pay for this, since the federal government will shoulder more responsibility for health care costs. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Elmendorff said on July 16 that "…the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs…The way I would put it is that the [cost] curve is being raised…." The CBO further estimated that H.R. 3200 would add $239 billion to the federal deficit in the first 10 years.
H.R. 3200 establishes home visitation programs by adding two amendments to the Social Security Act: H.R. 3200 will establish a "Quality Home Visitation Program" and "Optional Coverage of Nurse Home Visitation Services." The states will apply for grants from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and will use the federal grants to create or expand state-run home visitation programs. While these programs are not supposed to be forced on families, families who accept these services will have government officials entering their homes, monitoring their children, and teaching the parents how to raise their children.
H.R. 3200's home visitation programs could encourage states to pressure families into 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…." While H.R. 3200 says that these visits will be voluntary, the states may have an economic incentive to increase enrollments in these home visits, and may pressure families to participate in them. This is especially likely because page 848 requires states that receive these grants to submit an annual report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, which includes the number of families in the home visitation program and retention rate.
H.R. 3200 could lead to politically influenced parenting classes that pressure parents to raise their children how the government mandates: Pages 843–847 set forth the requirements that states, which receive the federal grants, need to meet. Subsection (v) on page 843 requires that the state home visitation programs provide parents with "knowledge of age-appropriate child development… 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; skills to interact with their child to enhance age-appropriate development; skills to recognize and seek help for issues related to health, developmental delays, and social, emotional, and behavioral skills; activities designed to help parents become full partners in the education of their children…."
Pages 768–769 of H.R. 3200 provide that eligible first-time pregnant woman and families with children less than 2 years old will receive home visitation services "improving maternal or child health…increasing birth intervals between pregnancies, reducing the incidence of child abuse…increasing economic self-sufficiency, employment advancement, school-readiness, and educational achievement, or reducing dependence on public assistance."
All of these detailed aspects of the home visitation programs are open to being politically influenced by government bureaucrats who may think that they know more about parenting than parents do. They may pressure parents to adopt child-rearing methods that are against the family's religious beliefs. Home visitation officials may even threaten families with abuse and neglect investigations if the families do not choose to follow the official parenting education models.
Additionally, the program outlined in pages 768–769 of home visitation services to first-time pregnant women to teach about "increasing birth intervals between pregnancies…" may result in government officials teaching young mothers about birth control or abortion services.
H.R. 3200 will result in taxpayers and employers paying for abortion services: Although H.R. 3200 does not explicitly mandate that health care plans cover abortion, the bill does require health care plans to cover "essential benefits." Numerous amendments were introduced in various House and Senate committees to clarify that abortion was not an "essential benefit." However, all of these amendments were defeated. Without an explicit amendment to prohibit abortion from being covered, such services could be required by courts and the secretary of health and human services, resulting in employers and taxpayers being forced to pay for this service.
H.R. 3200 will expand the power of the federal government: The bill would create a "Health Benefits Advisory Committee" which would consist of 20 to 26 members appointed by the president and comptroller general. The committee will recommend benefit standards and updates to the secretary of health of human services. This unelected committee made up of government bureaucrats will dictate what services a health care plan must provide.
The secretary of health and human services alone chooses whether to adopt the standards. There is no appeal process. The secretary of health and human services conducts audits and determines if plans comply with benefit standards. The secretary can fine an employer, or suspend or terminate the plan if the secretary deems the employer in noncompliance. The secretary may decide to require that health plans cover polarizing services, such as abortion, and all employers will be forced to abide by the secretary's decision.
Additionally, the federal government does not have the authority to take over health care under the U.S. Constitution. You can view a video of Mike Farris discussing this.