Thursday, November 3, 2011


By Bob Confer

Once the government has its foot in the door through the federally sponsored Home Visiting Program it will have carte blanche to manage all facets of child care. Failure to comply with the “suggestions” provided will likely result in intervention by family courts and other publically-provided social functions under the guise of child protection, ultimately inducing the destruction of that family unit. That’s a heady outcome from a program sold to Congress – and the people - as being voluntary.

One of the goals of the program is to improve parenting skills and child development. That in itself is a purposely nebulous endeavor: What exactly defines good parenting and a well-developed child and who sets the criteria? Looking at the social engineering that is hoist upon kids these days, some of the desired outcomes are obvious.

First and foremost will be the degradation of traditional morality. Mindsets based in religious mores will definitely be targeted. There are many parents adamant about educating their children in home and church about what they and their beliefs determine to be right and wrong. Those hard and fast rules don’t necessarily fit with what society determines to be normative today and just as many people frown upon those character lessons as appreciate them. Some reverse engineering may be required by the government to make sure a kid’s belief system is compliant with what’s supposedly acceptable.

Related to that will be an adherence to a behavioral system that demands conformity. If a parent, like I do, believes in objectivism as the guiding light to human development - that it’s the individual’s purpose and responsibility to lead a life that he or she sees fit and the pursuit thereof is the basis for happiness and advancement of self (and, ultimately, society by others doing the same) – his parenting skills will be viewed with a critical eye. In secondary and collegiate academia, there is an overwhelming promotion of teamwork (although it’s certainly anything but) and the importance of the collective that demeans self-importance, self-determination, and responsibility. The government would love to eliminate individualism at an early age and demand that the parents retool their approach and aid the government in making conformists (and dependents) out of the masses.

Next, consider the goal of “school readiness” proposed by this component of Obamacare. School readiness alludes to a belief that a child is fine only if he or she is ready for the government’s accepted standard of education. That means the Home Visiting Program could, in the supposed best interests of the youth, demand that one be removed from home schooling or private schools and be put into public schools.

School readiness is also the motivator behind Head Start and it’s likely that the Visitation Program would mandate participation in it, which actually strips parents of their roles and has proven to be completely useless to the children in it. Numerous studies have shown that Head Start is a non-starter, including one released by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2010 that indicated marginal improvement in only 2 of 44 cognitive tests. Realize that since 1965 the federal government has blown $166 billion on Head Start. How much more will be thrown away when many more kids are determined eligible by their parents being deemed inadequate?

Another requirement of the Home Visitation Program is “student achievement”, holding parents accountable to children’s grades. In this day and age, low achievement doesn’t have to be attributable to bad parenting. 30 years ago, I’d say parenting was a major contributing factor. But since the Department of Education gained a stranglehold on public schools in 1980 the achievement of all students has dropped considerably (the US is rated poorly among developed nations), a direct result of federal intervention in activities best left to teachers, local school districts, and parents. How can the government blame parents – and then tear apart homes - for a mess it created?

These are just a few of the countless ways that the federal government will meddle in home affairs – and wrongly accuse parents of impropriety - once the Home Visitation Program takes root. It’s just too bad that Fox News, CNN and the like didn’t live up to the standard of the news outlets of days gone by, and hold the government accountable by analyzing all aspects of Obamacare, not just the insurance mandates. Horrors like this get passed and repealing them becomes nearly impossible.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. E-mail him at


This column originally ran in the 07 November 2011 Greater Niagara Newspapers

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