A week ago, Breitbart had reported that Obamacare actually prohibited the Department of Health and Human Services from collecting information on gun owners. Awr Hawkins wrote:
“It seems that in their haste to cram socialized medicine down the throats of the American people, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Barack Obama overlooked Senate amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, part c. According to reports, that amendment says the government cannot use doctors to collect ‘any information relating to the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.’”
Obama has now clarified with his recent executive actions that Obamacare does not actually prohibit doctors from interrogating their patients about guns. In fact, the Obama administration is encouraging doctors to do just that. Here’s the relevant passage taken from the Weekly Standard:
- Preserve the rights of health care providers to protect their patients and communities from gun violence: We should never ask doctors and other health care providers to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by guns in the wrong hands.
- Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence: Doctors and other mental health professionals play an important role in protecting the safety of their patients and the broader community by reporting direct and credible threats of violence to the authorities. But there is public confusion about whether federal law prohibits such reports about threats of violence. The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits these reports in any way.
- Protect the rights of health care providers to talk to their patients about gun safety: Doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients’ homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home. Some have incorrectly claimed that language in the Affordable Care Act prohibits doctors from asking their patients about guns and gun safety. Medical groups also continue to fight against state laws attempting to ban doctors from asking these questions. The Administration will issue guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit or otherwise regulate communication between doctors and patients, including about firearms.
This is one problem with the “mental illness” caveat. We want to make sure people who buy guns aren’t mentally ill and don’t have a history of mental illness. Even many conservatives are in favor of these restrictions. They sound like a good idea, but you can see where this will lead. The media have been trying to portray gun owners as aggressive nut cases and mentally unstable. All a doctor has to do after questioning you is claim that you are mentally ill because of your opinion on guns and the 2nd Amendment. They can claim that you suffer from delusions and paranoia. When they express their concerns to the authorities, you’ll be required to turn in your guns.
I would guess that for now, most doctors don’t care about these things for their average patients. But as those doctors get older and retire and are replaced by more Obamacare friendly doctors, we can expect much more regular and intrusive questioning and psychological evaluations to make sure we’re good, cooperative socialists. And if you’re a good, cooperative socialist, you wouldn’t have a gun in the first place.