Wednesday, December 2, 2009
ACTION: As the Senate begins debate on socialized health care this week, the White House is pulling out all the stops to get it passed, including an attack on Gun Owners of America and the Second Amendment.
Please contact your Senators and warn them that a vote in favor of socialized health care will be considered a vote against the Second Amendment. [A pre-written letter is provided below.]
Why don’t they read the bills?
Last week, as Americans were getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, Obama’s spin doctors were still in full combat mode, taking shots at Gun Owners of America.
On the official White House blog, deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer denied that the health care bill would affect gun owners. After all, he writes, “there is no mention [of] ‘gun-related health data’ or anything like it anywhere in either the Senate or the House bills.”
Well, unlike so many in Congress, GOA attorneys have actually read the bills, something they have been doing since before Mr. Pfeiffer was born.
So, how would ObamaCare attack gun rights?
First of all, the fact that the bills do not mention the words “gun related health data” is meaningless. Those who know even a little bit about gun law understand the increasing use of statutes which do not mention guns -- in order to regulate them nonetheless.
Gun banners love to interpret laws in the most expansive ways
Within the past year, the federal district court for the District of Columbia used the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to overturn Bush regulations involving guns in parks. NEPA did not purport to apply to guns.
Increasingly, zoning ordinances are being used to put gun ranges and gun dealers out of business. These ordinances do not mention guns.
Thirty-five jurisdictions have brought lawsuits to try to put gun manufacturers out of business, arguing negligence, product defect, and nuisance law which were not previously thought to apply to guns.
And, over the last decade, veterans suffering from PTSD have been denied the right to purchase a gun. This was not supposed to happen when the Brady Law was enacted in 1994, but that did not keep Clinton’s Department of Veterans Affairs from using the law to disarm thousands upon thousands of veterans, without any due process.
ObamaCare gives tremendous authority to anti-gun bureaucrats
Turning to what is written in the health care bill, section 1104 would give the Secretary of Health and Human Services (currently anti-gunner Kathleen Sebelius) broad authority to promulgate rules once ObamaCare becomes law.
For example, the bill requires health plans to certify, in writing, "that the data and information systems [demonstrate] to the Secretary that the plan conducts the electronic transactions ... in a manner that fully complies with the regulations of the Secretary." [Section 1104(b)(2).]
What health-related "gun” data do we fear would be required to be submitted under these rules? Increasingly, protocols are requiring that kids (and adults) be asked by physicians about loaded firearms in the household. A keyword search by BATFE of a federal database created by section 13001 of the stimulus bill -- but enforced by the Senate version of ObamaCare -- could produce something pretty close to a national gun registry.
Veterans have already been disarmed without due process
In addition, between 115,000 and 150,000 veterans have had their gun rights permanently taken away from them because the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has appointed a financial guardian for them when they received counseling for common illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder -- and all of this with no due process nor trial in a court of law. Under BATFE regulations issued during the Clinton administration, a diagnosis by a psychiatrist in connection with a government program (such as the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, Medicare, etc.) is sufficient to declare the person a “prohibited person” under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4).
Hence, BATFE could similarly take the position that a finding of Alzheimer's, PTSD, or ADHD should result in the loss of gun rights. And, under the Senate ObamaCare bill, this information could be obtained by BATFE with nothing more than a keyword search of the newly created database.
Incidentally, federal privacy protections do not apply to law enforcement agencies like BATFE.
Higher insurance premiums for gun owners
White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer also writes: "Nothing in the Senate health reform bill would lead to higher premiums for gun owners .... Section 2717 [specifically] lists what types of programs would be involved -- such as smoking cessation, physical fitness, nutrition, heart disease prevention ....”
Well, as any lawyer would know, that list in section 2717 is "inclusive," but is not "exclusive."
Section 1201 of the bill creates "wellness" programs which allow consideration of behavioral issues in setting premiums and, presumably, determining activities which are so dangerous that coverage might be suspended. The definition of "wellness" includes some very broad issues, including obesity and "lifestyle." But even these broad categories are not exclusive and do not prevent, for example, the consideration of firearms ownership -- as State Farm and Prudential have already done on some occasions.
CONTACT INFO FOR ACTION: You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your Senators the pre-written e-mail message below.
----- Pre-written letter -----
The White House is refusing to admit the obvious. The Congressional Budget Office has exposed the fact that the emperor has no clothes, documenting that health insurance premiums will significantly rise if ObamaCare passes.
Similarly, the White House is refusing to admit that its prized piece of legislation could affect gun owners. The White House is plain wrong.
Please go to http://gunowners.org/ch11252009.htm to see Gun Owners of America’s response to the White House, showing the threat ObamaCare poses to gun rights.