Posted by: Donna
You might remember Rachel Alexander, disgraced former Maricopa County prosecutor who went down in ignominy with her boss, disbarred former County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Alexander has landed on her feet, it appears, with a cush wingnut welfare gig at Townhall.com. Her latest column is pushing what I guess is the breathless conspiracy panic du jour about the Kenyan Usurper. They’re comin’ fer yer gunz!!
What does gun control have to do with health care? As odd as it seems, Obamacare contains provisions that jeopardize gun ownership, especially for veterans. Anti-gun provisions were added to initial drafts of Obamacare legislation under the pretext of prohibiting people with mental illness – which can include PTSD – from owning guns. Fortunately, the NRA stepped in and got some of the worst language revised last December. Senate amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, part c. prohibits the creation of a firearms database and stops doctors from disclosing or collecting information relating to a patient’s firearms. Ironically, this provision was probably the only positive result of most members of Congress not bothering to read the bill before voting on it.
However, the provision does not go as far as prohibiting doctors from asking their patients if there are any firearms in their home. In January, Obama issued 23 executive actions and orders regarding firearms. Order 16 stressed that Obamacare does not prohibit doctors from asking patients about their firearms, and the fact sheet includes, “Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence.” What constitutes a “threat of violence” could be very arbitrary. This puts doctors in a difficult position by suggesting they act as pseudo-law enforcement agents. It is damaging to doctor-patient privilege. If doctors have a patient with PTSD or mental illness, and they fail to ask the patient about their firearms, or report them to law enforcement, they could be on the hook later. It encourages them to err on the side of snooping into their patients’ guns. This is especially troubling considered the definition of mental illness keeps expanding.
So basically, Alexander believes there should be a gag order placed on doctors to prevent them from acting in the interest of their patient’s safety. Because that’s super Constitutional! Then her piece takes this odd turn:
Gun Owners of America warns that the next step will be linking insurance with gun ownership. Some private insurers, including State Farm and Prudential, drop homeowners from their policies for owning certain types of guns or not using trigger locks. It’s not difficult to see how this could be adopted as a requirement of Obamacare in the vague name of “health.”
Wow, I do expect right wingers to be perfectly fine with tyranny over ordinary people but here we are talking about Holy Private Businesses! If private health insurers did want to drop gun owners because of the actuarial risk to their profits, why would Rachel Alexander object to that? Is her argument that private businesses should be *gasp* forced to provide certain services to people??! Conservative opponents to Obamacare are fine with insurers refusing or dropping coverage for any preexisting condition or for whatever reason so why not make coverage contingent upon not owning a gun if they so choose? The irony here is that Obamacare probably gives gun owners more protection from that happening due to making it so insurers on the exchange have to accept everyone. But don’t let that interrupt your pants peeing panic attack, gun nuts.
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