It was only a matter of time. Chuck Norris has weighed in on the health care debate.
In an op-ed for the conservative outlet TownHall.com, the former kung-fu action hero says that he was thumbing through the health care bill and found a disturbing section that "is about the government's coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development."
The idea that health care reform will lead to government agents raising your children has been floating around right-wing blogs for the last several weeks. Norris' op-ed quickly got a link on the Drudge Report.
But it has no basis in reality. Norris is referring to section 1904 of the House bill, which "[p]rovides grants to States to support voluntary, evidence-based home visitation programs for pregnant women and for families with pre-school age children in order to improve the well-being, health and development of children."
The programs would be voluntary, a number of states already have such programs, and this sort of legislation is introduced almost every year.
Last Congress it was H.R.2343, which sought to "expand quality programs of early childhood home visitation that increase school readiness, child abuse and neglect prevention, and early identification of developmental and health delays, including potential mental health concerns, and for other purposes."
What kind of radical government-takeover advocates cosponsored such treachery? Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), a member of House GOP leadership, for one. And Republicans Mark Souder (Ind.), Zach Wamp (Tenn.), and Rick Renzi (Ariz.).
The Senate version was introduced by that well-known communist Kit Bond, a Republican from Missouri. Former Republican Rep. Kenny Hulshof of Missouri backed the House measure before he left Congress to run for governor. Republican Senators Pat Roberts (Kan.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) cosponsored Bond's bill.
Rep. Todd Platts (R-Penn.) sponsored a similar measure this year, H.R. 2667, the Early Support for Families Act. H.R. 2205, the Education Begins at Home Act of 2009, is cosponsored by Republicans Mike Castle (Del.), John McHugh (N.Y.), Vernon Ehlers (Mich.), and Thomas Petri (R-Wisc.).
Joe the Plumber, however, has yet to weigh in.
Laura Dean contributed reporting