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Ask the Expert

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Creitz’s misconceptions

Posted: September 29, 2009 10:25 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
I feel compelled to correct misconceptions in the letter to the editor of William Creitz of Sept. 5 titled "Proposal a prescription to destroy families."

Mr. Creitz was referring to Sec. 440 of H.R. 3200, titled "Home Visitation Programs for Families with Young Children and Families Expecting Children."

Here is the stated purpose of the provision: "The purpose of this section is 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."

Note the word "voluntary" in the sentence above. The section outlines a provision for states to receive grants from the federal government to establish and monitor these programs. It details what a high quality program would include, and what each state would need to do to apply for these grants.

This program is similar to what many other countries offer their citizens and is intended to help reduce the infant mortality rate in this country.

Some of you may know we lag behind all the other developed nations in the world on this key health care system measure, including the European Union, Australia and Canada, according to the World Fact Book at CIA.gov. My wife and I used an example of this type of program while living in Switzerland and found it to be very beneficial.

Mr. Creitz would have you believe that "home intrusion police" will visit you if this bill is passed and "it is all but guaranteed that the government will assume your parenting role." This is yet another example of the hysterical distortions that have been prevalent on this issue from certain conservative media outlets and conservative Web sites.

H.R. 3200 is definitely flawed and will not make it to a vote. However, other health care reform legislation intended to improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care in the U.S. will be debated in the coming weeks and months.

I implore everyone to learn the facts about where we stand in the world in terms of health care measures and the cost we pay for what we get relative to other nations.

As new legislation is proposed, learn the benefits as well as the potential problems. Don't rely on one media source because it fits your ideology. investigate for yourself.

Focus on the problem (it's big and complex) and possible solutions. Be wary of labels and name-calling that cloud the real issues.

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