Posts Tagged ‘HHS’
One of Obama’s big ideas in his State of the Union speech was to expand free pre-school programs.
And that has to start at the earliest possible age. Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for a private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. So tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America. (Applause.) That’s something we should be able to do.
I have a little experience with early childhood education… having five kids will give you some experience, and I am sure that the federal government or state government knows less about what my kids need then I do. This is yet another step in the “cradle-to-grave” mentality of the Left to inject their “progressive” thinking into children at as young an age as possible.
Have doubts? Do you think for one second Obama would allow choice in pre-school by providing payments to parents who decide to do “home pre-school?” No, if it isn’t government sanctioned, it isn’t good enough “for the children.”
But what undercuts Obama’s kid-grab is a study by his own Department of Health and Human Resources that points out that there is no lasting benefit of Head Start for children after they enter elementary school.
As the Editors of National Review wrote:
The results of the HHS study will be of no surprise to anybody who has followed the research on Head Start and similar programs. The “impacts” documented in the study were transitory, vanishing entirely by the early stages of elementary-school education. And some of the impacts were negative; for instance, members of the three-year-old cohort who participated in Head Start were less likely than those in the control group to achieve regular grade promotion. That probably is not evidence that Head Start hurt the three-year-olds; it is more probable that, by random chance, students more likely to be held back were assigned to the Head Start group, and the benefits of Head Start were not consistent enough or large enough to overcome the difference. (The result was considered “statistically significant,” but that merely means it is unlikely — not impossible — for it to be the result of chance.) But the inability of Head Start to overcome the effects of randomness is damning enough in itself.
There is nothing more dangerous than government getting their hands on our kids at an early age. I actually think that kids should wait longer to enter formal education.
A few years ago, I wrote about all-day Kindergarten and how it actually caused the regression of my son’s reading skills. I have experienced first-hand the damage that government-run early education can do to a child.
A few months later it is Christmas break and I ask Adam to sit down and read to me. To my utter horror, I realized that his reading had regressed. A lot.
At that point, I’d had it. This wonderful all-day K was actually hurting my child.
So Obama should keep his hands of my kids.
Obama’s supposed compromise on a rule requiring religious institutions to cover contraception was summarily rejected by the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
Catholic bishops said Friday night that they would not support the Obama administration’s proposed compromise on a controversial rule that requires most employers to fully cover contraception in their workers’ health plans.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had led opposition to the regulation, issued a statement saying that they didn’t believe their concerns were addressed by a new policy offered by President Barack Obama on Friday morning to allow religious employers who object to the use of birth control to turn over responsibility for covering it to insurance companies.
This line from a story in Politico exposes the true thinking of the administration:
A senior administration official told POLITICO Saturday that the White House didn’t expect to win the support of the bishops with Friday’s updated policy. Instead, the official said, the administration was focused on achieving a balance of respecting religious beliefs and ensuring women had access to preventive services.
This is another example that Obama doesn’t want to actually respect religious liberty, but rather push an aggressive anti-First Amendment agenda and try to wedge the Catholic Church against its members.
As further evidence of the disregard of religious liberty, a very smart political observer emailed HHS’s women’s health “Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines” to me and made this point:
Nowhere does it talk about infertility or fertility treatments — which is a legitimate illness/disease, as opposed to pregnancy, which is not. The Church is opposed to artificial means of conception as well, and would fight this too. If the Administration genuinely cared about “women’s reproductive health” however, wouldn’t they care about treating infertility as much, if not more than, fertility? Why do they want to kill babies so badly?
I think that says it all about the real agenda of Obama’s administration.
The Obama Administration grossly miscalculated the reaction that American Catholics would have to the new Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring Catholic institutions such as schools, hospitals, and charities, to purchase health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs–all of which are immoral according to Catholic teaching.
Stories in the Huffington Post and others covering the controversy are quick to point out that 98% percent of sexually active Catholic women have used birth control; whether these women are all actively practicing Catholics is not discussed. Regardless, the point is moot. The Catholic Church is a 2,000 year-old global institution; its orthodoxy is not governed by polling in the United States. Further, the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There is no stipulation saying, “unless Congress determines that some followers of that religion do not strictly adhere to all of that religion’s tenets.” Many Jews do not keep kosher, so can Congress pass a law prohibiting those who do from continuing?
Catholics may disagree with the rules of the Church, as children at times disagree with the rules of their parents, but it does not mean that Catholics do not respect or love the Church just as a rebellious child still respects and loves his parents. The Obama Administration gambled that Catholics would choose Obama over the Church. The sheer arrogance is mind-blowing. As Peggy Noonan wrote in her WSJ column, “there was nothing for the president to gain, except, perhaps, the pleasure of making a great church bow to him.”
Even some Catholic liberals like the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne have spoken out against the mandate. When E.J. Dionne and I are in agreement, there is something incredibly wrong in the world. The pressure on the Administration is growing and will be unrelenting. The Catholic vote matters to Obama and eventually, I believe, the Administration will capitulate. If it isn’t soon, the damage to his image with Catholics could be irreparable.
This past weekend, Catholic bishops around the country wrote letters, to be read at Sunday Masses, condemning the attack on religious freedom. Among these bishops was Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix and Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the Archbishop of Military Services who wrote that the HHS rule was, “a blow to the freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle.”
As National Review reports, the Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains actually tried to prevent Catholic chaplains from reading Archbishop Broglio’s letter from the pulpit. The Executive Branch tramples on freedom of religion and then tries to silence those who object–these are not the actions of a man who respects our free society. Obama views the First Amendment, heck the entire Constitution, as optional.
He must be stopped.