Oregon is proposing a new law (after testing it in one county already) that the state give all newborn babies 2-3 in home visits for health screening, immunization follow up, referrals to primary care physicians, and any other health needs pertaining to newborn children. The proposed law has widespread bi-partisan support. Although it has been a tremendous success in the one test county, however, there is always dissent. Some, with no data to support their position, argue that this is some sort of law enforcement “big brother” program, designed to violate our 4th amendment rights. We debate it on Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream.
Controversy as Oregon moves to provide health care to newborns.
January 21st, 2019
Shannon Bream: Time for Night Court. Packed away in Oregon’s budget is a controversial measure on what are being called universal home visits. Well, this proposed law could allow in home visits by Oregon health officials to all families with newborn babies. Eighteen lawmakers are calling the bill an emergency measure arguing it’s necessary for preserving Oregon’s public health and safety. Some residents say its straight up big brother. Tonight’s legal eagles, two of our favorites are here to debate. Criminal Defense Attorneys Bob Bianchi and David Bruno. Gentlemen, welcome to you both.
Robert Bianchi: Hi Shannon.
David Bruno: Hi Shannon.
Shannon Bream: Okay, so let me start with what we have here, a little bit from the bill. It is, this is Senate Bill 526, it says this 2019 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, an emergency is declared to exist ,and this 2019 Act takes effect on its passage. Which one of you thinks this is an emergency? If either one?
Robert Bianchi: Shannon, what I think that they’re doing there is they want to move this legislation quickly, no pun intended, but they’ve already taking baby steps with this. Lincoln County is already had a pilot program, they’ve gone very slow and steady to ameliorate any fears that people have. And at this point they’re saying let’s put a committee together, it’s for the health, safety, and welfare, of these children, let’s call that an emergency. If we can save one child let’s do it, and so you have to the end of the year. It’s just really a legislative tool to get there sooner than later, they’ve already done this for over a year in Lincoln County.
Shannon Bream: Okay, so, we have Patrick Allen Oregon Health authority Director saying this, he’s quoted as saying, this isn’t something for people in trouble, this is stuff all kids need, stuff my kids needed. David?
David Bruno: Yeah, what they’re requiring is that, this is going to happen for every single child. And that’s just not compatible with United States Supreme Court precedent. It’s been found that this parental interest in the care, custody, and control, of a child is perhaps the oldest and most fundamental liberty interest under our Fourteenth Amendment. It’s not going to pass constitutional muster for every single parent to be invaded on their parental interests, it’s just not going to happen.
Shannon Bream: Well, in an article written about this by PJ Media, they say there’s government agents monitoring the homes of law-abiding parents who have not been accused of a crime, without a warrant, is an unconscionable violation, not only of parental rights and individual liberty, but also the trampling of the Fourth Amendment and the due process clause of the Constitution. Bob?
Robert Bianchi: Shannon, I’m all for the Fourth Amendment and due process but unfortunately with respect to the author of that article, and in Lincoln County which is already been the beta site, that is not what is happening. They are not busting doors down, they are providing an opportunity for nurses to do prescreening, immunization, they get them primary health care, and to help them with any issues that they may have in two or three visits. And there’s nothing that we know of, right now that’s mandatory. The reason they’re upset, the author of that article, is because people use the term Universal and they said, well you know what that leads to next. I agree, if they go breaking your door down, or mandating, that’s a problem.
Shannon Bream: Okay, apparently, they’re considering this in Washington state too, the governor there says, my budget would also offer universal home visits. This gives every new parent the opportunity to get a visit from a nurse, during the first few weeks back home with their newborn, to share important information and build confidence. David that doesn’t sound so bad?
David Bruno: Yeah but Shannon, I think what needs to be clarified in both these states is when you talk about universal, is it mandatory?
Shannon Bream: Right, that’s a big sticking issue.
David Bruno: I think it’s a good idea, but you have op into this, I mean who’s going to deny free healthcare if that’s what’s going to be done but how is this going to be paid for? Who’s going to pay for it? It’s going to be the taxpayers. It’s going to come in the increase in taxes, and they have to generate the revenue to provide these services. Well, so I disagree with the principle.
Robert Bianchi: I tell you what though, David and Shannon, this pilot program the Governor, the Director of Health and Human Services, bipartisan support with eighteen people that signed onto this bill, so they must see something there that they like.
Shannon Bream: Well, an opponent see Big Brother. So, we will leave it there, David and Bob, thank you very much for presenting the arguments here. Folks at home you are our jury today, so let us know what you think @ShannonBream or @FoxNewsNights, about these visits to newborn baby.