12.06.2004

Someone needs a metal exam in Washington


I once blogged about Bush's "New Freedom Initiative" and how the term had already been used once in in Woodrow Wilson's liberal "New Freedom" program, which was oddly a hell of a lot more conservative than anything Bush has ever spoken of. Bush's New Freedom Initiative is different in that it is focused on people with disabilities while Wilson's dealt with the economy.

At any rate, Illinois is the testbed for Bush's New Freedom Initiative and they recently passed measures that are supposed to become the template on which a federal program will be derived (more info here and here). The Illinois program was based on federal recommendations and was designed to be one "containing short-term and long-term recommendations to provide comprehensive, coordinated mental health prevention, early intervention, and treatment services for children from birth through age 18."

Sounds simple enough. It's just another liberal program to spend taxpayer dollars to provide mental health coverage to kids, more or less.

Then the details emerge and we see that it's not really a service that they're providing, it's more of a prison.

The Illinois bill requires mandatory mental screenings of pregnant women up to a year after they have the child. it requires children to be screened from birth until age five and their results will sent to the state to be kept in a database where the child's mental health can be monitored, I assume, for the rest of their life. Children will again undergo "social-emotional development screening" until they're 18 every time they pass a "transition time" which means after Kinderegarten, after third grade, after 8th grade etc and will be given "social-emotional development report cards" somehow and at some time, it's not really clear.

There is no provision for either the students or the parents rights so it's conceivable that children could be tossed out of school or that parents could be arrested on child neglect charges for not having these screenings or taking any prescribed medications.

Now keep in mind that the Illinois program is supposed to be a template for a federal program, and that Arlen Specter and billionairre Bill Frist were responsible for removing language from the federal bill which would require a parent's consent for the mental screenings and for prescribing drugs to the children.

Is anyone scared yet?

Someone please come find me in Canada when a conservative is elected.



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