Some Victories Including Health Care During Budget Skirmish

— But the most important battles are still to come

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thank you for your activism last week on the budget resolution, especially given the short notice.  (Please realize that GOA has no control over when votes are scheduled, so sometimes we have to alert you with little time before the vote takes place!)

While the budget resolution for fiscal year 2010 has now passed the Senate and the House in different forms, we were able to secure some significant victories in the Senate.

First, with 64 favorable votes, the Senate passed an amendment by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) to force the federally subsidized Amtrak to allow passengers to carry  firearms in checked bags.

In addition, the Senate adopted an amendment offered by Senator James DeMint (R-SC) to prohibit any system of nationalized health care which would prevent Americans from being able to select their doctors and insurance companies.

This amendment could make it more difficult to institute either socialized medicine or a Massachusetts-style insurance that requires everyone to purchase [government approved?] insurance.

This is good news for gun owners.  A “mandated” insurance system could not only cost you up to $1,000 month, but could also result in your most sensitive personal information being placed in a medical database — information that could easily be used to put more names on the gun prohibition list (NICS).

The budget resolution now goes to conference committee, where anti-gunners are expected to strip out both of our pro-gun amendments.  But these amendments did pin senators down on important issues early in the budget war, which was an important strategic objective.

It is unclear when the conference report on the budget resolution will be sent back to the Senate and the House.  One possibility is that the resolution will be held in conference until September.

The Democrat leadership has ominously threatened to produce a bill that would require mandatory health insurance.

They are not talking about this openly, but as a recent editorial in The Washington Post confessed:  “Though only some of the players [on Capitol Hill] will say so now, the [health care] plan will ultimately include a mandate requiring everyone to have insurance.” (April 6, 2009)

You see, the power players on Capitol Hill are not admitting this openly because the American people oppose it. But if they set in motion a process to help sneak such a “mandate” into law, then gun owners will only have a few weeks to stop it in September.

This is why we need to keep the pressure on liberty-leaning Senators during the ensuing months.  Please stay tuned.