August 23, 2013: In its continuing campaign to keep the sofa-bound legions on their high-blood-pressure meds, Fox News brings on lazy Steve Doocy -- who at one time actually acquired a degree in journalism but has evidently long since abandoned its principles -- to claim that home visits for at-risk children, a program included in the Affordable Care Act (the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program), is "forced." Had Doocy (who is the author of a book titled The Mr. and Mrs. Happy Handbook) bothered to do his homework, he, too could have learned that the program is voluntary. It is required to be voluntary. Anyone receiving federal funds to administer the program must give assurances that participation in the program by eligible families is voluntary.
... the exact location of that fact in the section of the Social Security Act that covers this program; the precise wording is " ...the participation of each eligible family in the program is voluntary..."
MediaMatters pulls the plug on the distortions, but, sadly, the number of people who read MediaMatters (or this news aggregate, for that matter) is but a tiny atoll in the sea of Fox watcher.
The MIECHV program was designed to serve "communities with concentrations" of premature births, low-weight infants and infant mortality (including infant death due to neglect); poverty; crime; domestic violence; substance abuse; unemployment; child maltreatment; high rates of high school dropouts -- and other indicators of at-risk infants and young children. The MIECHV program also has a special interest in families who have (or have had) members serving in the Armed Forces, especially those who have endured "mutiple deployments outside the United States."
So, here's the quick snapshot: envision a pregnant young woman with a toddler on a military base located far from her family of origin. Her husband is in, say, Afghanistan, "fighting for our freedom," including the freedom for duplicitous commentators to deny her the right to ask for help.
Photo: military family says goodbye to father leaving for Afghanistan, 2010 (Reuters).