Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

August 24, 2013

No 'forced home inspections'

Rating: Pants on Fire!

A startling Obamacare claim swept from blog to blog last week: “SHOCKING: Obamacare Provision Will Allow ‘Forced’ Home Inspections.”

One blogger used a photo of armed officers entering a cottage, with the overline, “We’re from the government and we’re here to raid your home.” Another said “this is why the IRS has been training with AR-15s.”

A reader sent us a post from BenSwann.com, “Obamacare provision: ‘Forced’ home inspections.”

He wondered if it were true. So did we.

South Carolina’s concern

“Forced home inspections”? Um, no.

The flurry originated with BenSwann.com blogger Joshua Cook on Aug. 13. He picked up the phrase “forced home inspections” from a state lawmaker in South Carolina.

Back in March, as a group of state legislators discussed a bill to fight the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Rick Quinn offered a specific example of something in the law that worried him: “The forced home inspections that I’ve heard about.”

Cook was there. And the comment nagged him. He noticed people weren’t really writing about the issue.

“It’s just been bothering me,” he told PolitiFact.

So he wrote about it last week, talking with an attorney who spoke at the committee hearing and posting a video clip of Quinn’s comment.

“The point is South Carolina legislators believe it, and are convinced this is going to happen,” Cook told us.

Quinn, indeed, had added an amendment to the South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act to prevent state workers from conducting any “involuntary … in-home visitation.” It passed the House, but the Senate didn’t have a chance to vote. Cook says lawmakers hope to revive the legislation in the next session.

But that Obamacare program that worries Quinn? It already is —by statute — voluntary.

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