The state of Florida, perennial front-runner in America's annual Worst State contest, has rejected $50 million in federal money that would have been allotted to help abused children.
The Miami Herald reports,
The money, offered through the federal Affordable Health Care Act passed last year, would have paid, among other things, for a visiting nurse program run by Healthy Families Florida, one of the most successful child-abuse prevention efforts in the nation. Healthy Families' budget was cut in last year's spending plan by close to $10 million.
And because the federal Race to the Top educational-reform effort is tied to the child-abuse prevention program that Healthy Families administers, the state may also lose a four-year block grant worth an additional $100 million in federal dollars, records show.
Healthy Families Florida has an excellent track record.
The most recent year the program was studied, budget year 2010, 95 percent of the parents who participated avoided any verified reports of child abuse or neglect within a year of completing the program, records show. Almost two-thirds of the parents who were unemployed when they entered the program had found a job by the time they completed it.
The state's Republican-controlled governor's mansion and legislature has rejected the funds partly on principle, because the funds are available to them due to the fact that the Affordable Care Act was spearheaded by Democrats and our Kenyan President. Others think that programs to prevent things such as child abuse are an unnecessary intrusion into the rights of parents to smack their kids around.
State Sen. Joe Negron, who chairs his chamber's Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, said he long has been philosophically opposed to Healthy Families, which he views as an intrusion into the private lives of parents.
"I believe in providing basic information to parents at hospitals and medical settings," said Negron, a Palm City Republican. "I am not persuaded that it is a good idea to show up at a family's home year after year giving advice and guidance. I do not think that is a core, essential function of government."
The government has no right to go into people's homes, just like it has no right to go into people's uteruses. Right, Florida? Florida?
Florida Spurns 50 Million For Child Abuse Prevention [Miami Herald]
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/20/2323475/florida-spurns-50-million-for.html#ixzz1T2kC0pQl
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/20/2323475/florida-spurns-50-million-for.html#ixzz1T2jzUzhI
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