Bypassing the Tenth Amendment, Part II

How California Became a Branch Office of the Federal Government


December 6, 2010 -San Francisco, CA - In a November 11 piece entitled Has California Bypassed the Tenth Amendment? this author analyzed CA Governor Schwarzenegger's line-item budget vetoes of state tax money for welfare-to-work Stage 3 Child Care CalWorks programs, and more importantly, mental health services funding which has traditionally and appropriately been administered from within the state's Department of Health Care Services.

In that writing I opined that the Governor, in cooperation with the legislature, might have deliberately created a situation in which the federal government was prompted to step in and oversee yet another segment of California's business, thereby further blurring the separation of state and federal powers contained in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution regarding state's rights.

Immediately following the November 2nd election an Oakland, California, based community action group, Parent Voices, filed and won a lawsuit against the state, to return the Child Care portion of the vetoed money to the budget.

A class-action lawsuit filed on November 9 by mental health and disability rights advocates against the department of health services will be heard after the first of the year when, according to a spokeswoman for CA State Senator Darrell Steinberg's office "we will wait for a new Governor to see what he will do."

According to H. D. Palmer, a spokesperson for the California Department of Finance, this [stakeholders suing the state] is just business as usual. Federal legislation signed by George W. Bush permits nonprofit agencies to sue the government, he stated.

In the weeks following I have been accumulating information that supports the claim that this was not just business as usual, as state officials might want you to believe. Removing the state's portion of the mental health funding was, I believe, a key final step in merging California into a close partnership with the federal government in the day-to-day governance of California - reducing it to a branch office of a national corporation.

The veto of the state's portion of the mental health funding left the state Department of Health Services without state funds to run this program. This action, though legal according to the governor's office, brought the state into conflict with the mandates of the civil rights protections [section 504] of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the precursor to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 mandates that should a state department of mental health services be left without state funds to dispense mental health services, the remaining federal portion of the funding would be redirected to the Department of Education to oversee and administer the federal mental health services agenda.

In an interview with Fred Balcom, Director of the Special Needs segment of the state Health Services Department, he questioned the ability of the Department of Education to administer mental health services. After all, he said, "they don't have the psychologists and psychiatrists. We have them."

One key item in all this is that it remains unclear whether a court decision will include returning the state funding or administering of mental health services to its original department or if it will stay with the Department of Education.

My guess is the $133 million in question is going to stay with the school districts to pay for more on-campus, school-based clinics and expanded services. This lays the groundwork for the Health department and the Education Department to form a partnership delivering the federal No Child Left Behind [now called Race To The Top] education agenda along with ObamaCare and mandated federal "New Freedom" mental health counseling on school campuses.

If that does indeed happen, the school districts - already deeply involved in agendized partnerships with the business community - otherwise known as the School-To-Work program, will become the point of service deliverer of mental health services, during and after school hours, to the students and the community in general.

Such a partnership would fulfill the Clinton and [GW] Bush mental health legislation mandates.

On October 17, 2000, President William J. Clinton signed into law the 146-page Children's Health Act.

One excerpt from Clinton's press release announcing the signing reads, "The programs contained in this bill to improve and expand research and services for our children's physical and mental health, and to prevent substance abuse and violence, are important investments in the well-being of our Nation. For these reasons, I am pleased to sign H.R. 4365."

Continuing, "...I am gratified to see that this bill's focus on children's health addresses several priority areas identified by the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children. I am also pleased that H.R. 4365 authorizes new funds to improve the health and safety of children in child care. Available, affordable, safe, high-quality child care is a concern for any working parent. I have committed my Administration to achieving this goal, and today we are making substantial strides forward."

Clinton also noted, in the press release, that though funding was available to religious groups to administer these health services, they were denied to any religious group which could not or would not separate their religion from the government-funded services.

On November 23, 2004, the New Freedom Initiative/Mandatory Mental Health Screening of American Children Act was signed into law. In reaction, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, "decried a move by the U.S. Senate to join with the House in funding a federal program [which] will lead to mandatory psychological testing for every child in American without the consent of parents."

In addition to mandating screening for 60 million children, this act also requires screening for pregnant women and adults through schools and pre-schools.

Though this legislation did not mandate that states perform these services, Kathryn Serkes, public affairs officer for the AAPS, said: "However, the HHS appropriations bill contains block grant money that will likely be used as is often the case with block funding by the various states to implement mandatory psychological testing programs for all students in the school system."

In 2008, Congress passed and President Bush signed what was considered a major victory for the health industry; the Wellstone/Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2000. It was tacked onto a $700 billion financial bailout bill. It did not mandate that insurers provide mental health coverage, but if they did so, they must adhere to this bill's mandate of providing unlimited coverage equal to the benefits derived from other health insurance.

Unfortunately, the idea of routing children into the state school mental health labyrinth did not originate with Bill Clinton.

In California, as John Vasconcellos rose through the ranks of assemblyman and senator, he used every opportunity to promote the idea that children were - almost inherently - mentally and emotionally harmed by their parents and churches. He even wrote a book advocating that position, arguing it was the duty of the schools to provide counseling to correct parental influence. He also continually authored legislation mandating reformation of the state Education Master Plan, to include counseling services.

Though publicly laughed at by other legislators at that time, he has nonetheless been very influential in creating an atmosphere of acceptance for the touchy/feely "I'm Okay/You're Okay," attitudes so prevalent in the 60s and 70s. He has even appeared before educational and legislative committees during his retirement years, advocating his position along with Rob Reiner and other advocates of early childhood education and mental health counseling.

Towards that end, CA State Senator Leland Yee - a psychiatrist - regularly submits bills sponsored by various mental health counseling groups, for counseling services on school campuses.

In 1999, the legislature passed then Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg's AB 34, authorizing and appropriating funds for creation of pilot mental health programs to targeted constituents in targeted counties. Data was gathered, statistics created, clients provided with mental health services and the program, after a decade, was considered a success. It's findings were used to further advance the cause of everyone's need for mental health counseling.

In 2004, the California Psychiatric Association was successful in getting Prop 63, Mental Health Services passed, extending the idea of providing psychiatric services to every California citizen. To see what the CPA intends please visit "Some of the Things the CPA has done for you lately,"

In 2009, now as a state senator, Darrell Steinberg [D-Sacramento] authored SB 2034, Mental Health Funding, mandating mental health coverage for everyone in the state of California from the newest infant to the oldest senior adult.

San Francisco Senator Mark Leno, expressing concern for the mental health stability of "lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgendered" [LGBT] children or those children living in those types of families, authored SB 543, Mental Health Services, authorizing agencies to accept students, ages 12-16, for mental health counseling without parental consent. The legislation incorporates, interestingly enough, language similar to that previously used to authorize minors to obtain abortions and venereal disease treatment without parental involvement.

The final bill states, in part:

"In 2004, California voters passed Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which provides increased funding, personnel, and other resources to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for children, adolescents, adults, and families. Community stakeholder groups consisting of consumers, families, and service organizations identified various barriers to various populations accessing not only for MHSA programs, but for all mental health services. The groups identified that, among other things, requiring parental consent when a youth seeks mental health counsel or treatment is a barrier to the youth getting needed assistance. This bill, sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, Mental Health America of Northern California, GSA Network and Equality California, seeks to address that barrier to needed services."

On November 17 of this year, the Lucile Packard Foundation released a statement declaring that 15% of California families have a child with a special health care need - a chronic physical, developmental or behavioral condition that requires more than routine health and related services.

Of course, it also declares that California lags way behind the nation in delivering appropriate "high quality" health services to children and families, in general. This is, one presumes, an incentive for California to become competitive in raising its rating to one of being a leader in the provision of mental health services.

Though the legislators are supposed to represent the people of the state, sadly just the opposite appears to be reality. The legislators have become the willing servants of the special interests. It hardly matters who the next governor is, or whether he or she is a Republican or a Democrat. Republican Governor Schwarzenegger has been merely been one, in a succession of governors who have moved this state closer to being a permanent serf of the federal government.

Jerry Brown will be no different.

Over the years, as I have researched legislation, seldom have there been any organizations, individuals or faith groups working in opposition to this relentless movement toward governmental intrusion into nearly every aspect of life impacting school age children including education, employment, job creation, lifestyle and health. The public is being heavily lobbied to accept the idea of increased taxes to pay for increased governmental meddling, and few people seem concerned over the consequences.

The National Partnership for Women and Families, a stakeholder, tax supported abortion lobby is an example of the prototype of the future provider of services to children and adults.

They are lobbying the feds to become an integral part of the delivery of Medicare and Medicaid services. Their website links to another site entitled, The Hill Health Watch. Here is an excerpt from their coverage of the launch of a, "new innovation center created by the health reform law that aims to fulfill the triple goal of improving individual care, coordination between providers and prevention."

"CMS launched the center on Tuesday with a stakeholder meeting including representatives for the health care industry, consumers, states and employers. The goal is to create public-private partnerships, Berwick said, and the innovation center will consult with stakeholders every step of the way and create an "open innovation community" to serve as an information clearinghouse of best practices."

"Best practices" is the latest code word for substituting values neutral ethics in place of the traditional Christian moral ethics. It means whatever works for obtaining the optimum outcome for the state.

Psychological profiling, called for by the Obama Administration under the pretext of not letting terrorists get on airliners, is the latest insult to the peoples' sense of decorum and privacy being promoted on a nationwide basis. Skeptics might view this as a test to determine if the general public is compliant enough yet, to accept physical intervention in their private matters. The best time to start this of course would be during the heavy Christmas season travel period when people are already harried and pre-occupied and just want to get on a plane.

Such a method would be worthy of the cleverest brain washing expert. It's a furtherance of the game plan called accepting what appears to be the lesser of two evils: Either put up with being humiliated standing in an airport line while agents of the government take invasive full body x-rays of everyone, or full body hands-on pat downs in front of everyone...or, acquiesce to the entire population being psychologically profiled thereby invading the mind instead of the body.

In this type of scenario, everyone becomes a potential enemy of the state and would have to prove that he or she is mentally competent [i.e. not an opponent of Big Brother]. The mindset at work in this type of legislation views children as damaged goods by the time they are 3 years old, due to parental influence. Pregnant women are all deemed to be potential psychotics who will abuse and kill their children. Senior citizens are now being targeted to receive mental health counseling because growing old is too psychologically burdensome. And, in California, the courts are calling upon the prison system to release 40,000 prisoners into the general public because the prisons are too crowded for them to have their physical and mental health needs met. The public is going to be charged with paying for and providing the local agencies to provide these services.

If schools are to become integral to the future provision of physical and mental health services then it will be to schools that all clients will turn. Parents, concerned over the steady encroachment of big government into their families might well take a closer look at what's happening in our schools before this process pass the point of no return.

© Camille Giglio. All rights reserved.