As a liberal homeschooler, I have complex feelings about HSLDA (the Homeschool Legal Defense Association). I believe that a lot of what they do is good, watching legislation and helping families with legal issues. I wish they would do it from a less political, less religious position, but that's who they are.
They've released a memo to members, calling for homeschoolers to call our representatives and senators, asking them to oppose the bill. Here's the memo.
HSDLA gives five reasons why this bill should be opposed. I'd like to respond to those five points, one by one:
- Spend billions of dollars to allow the federal government to fund home visitation programs, where government officials would enter homes and monitor children and instruct parents in how to raise their children;
- Encourage states to pressure families to enroll their children in these home visitation programs;
- Put the federal government in the healthcare business, resulting in loss of competition, loss of patient choice, and loss of patient freedom;
- Require all health insurance plans, whether offered by a private company or the government, to include controversial “essential benefits,” which courts or the Secretary of Health and Human Services may determine to include medical procedures which businesses and taxpayers may oppose on philosophical and religious grounds; and
- Increase the size and power of the federal government.
Well, now we're just fear-mongering, and over-generalizing. Bigger government bad, smaller government good! Really? No exceptions? No grey area? Welfare makes government bigger. Medicare and Medicaid make it bigger. Social Security makes it bigger. Are we ready to get rid of all of these things? A lot of people like to shake their fists and yell about smaller government, but I don't believe this is a rule we can apply universally. By using this bit of as a final bullet point, HSLDA is trying to join in the popular chorus sung by tea partiers, libertarians, and erstwhile Republicans who have only recently decided that big government is bad, after the guy they most recently elected swelled the government more than anyone since Roosevelt. Increasing the size and power of the federal government has only just become a bullet point for opposing a bill. When considering the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, or the Transportation Security Administration, or No Child Left Behind, this would have been a bullet point on the pro side of the argument.
I'll leave you with Obama's opening statement from his health care town hall today. I hope if you've spent any time reading the email forwards and blog posts frothing about what might happen, what could result, how much homeschoolers have to fear from health insurance reform, that you'll take a few minutes to read Obama's message straight from the horse's mouth:
Let me set record straight:
. If you like your doctor, you can keep them.
. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
. You won't be waiting in lines.
. Health care choices should be between you and doctor.
. Government bureaucrats shouldn't meddle, but neither should insurance company bureaucrats.
. In the past 3 years, 12 million have been discriminated by insurance companies due to pre-existing conditions.
Under our reform, insurance companies will be prevented from denying or dropping your coverage due to pre-existing condition or when you get sick. They won't be able to water down your coverage. Insurance companies won't be able to put a cap on how much coverage you get in year or lifetime, and we'll put a cap on how much you have to pay out of pocket. We'll do this without adding to deficit by cutting out things that don't help.