Sound completely ridiculous?
If President Obama’s executive order is upheld, 23 executive actions and orders to limit gun usage were issued; it will be the law of the land. And many of the other executive orders have already significant controversy.
Executive Order 16, for example, might raise serious concerns with privacy advocates. As summarized, state and federal agencies will “clarify that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.”
Besides that incredible order, there’s a fact sheet provided by the (who else?) White House where the order list elaborates: “Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence.”
This will be legal?
The fact sheet continues: “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.”
Digging even deeper, “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 (Obamacare, remember?) 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.”
Do not forget, the Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The law itself totals a mind boggling 2,700 pages. It grants the president and federal agencies sweeping powers over health care.
So far, more than 13,000 pages of additional federal regulations have been issued with more to come.
So what does the National Rifle Association think of all this?
They have long argued that doctors violate patients’ Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms by asking about gun ownership.
Remarkably, a federal judge in July issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of a Florida law that would have prohibited doctors from asking patients about gun ownership in many instances, saying the prohibition impinged on doctors’ First Amendment right to speak with their patients about gun safety.
That couldn’t make the Obama administration happy. There is no doubt it is only the tip of iceberg for what will fill the courts for years once the entire law is enacted next year.
The law would have allowed physicians to ask about guns if it seemed relevant to a patient's medical care or safety — for example, if a patient was severely depressed or experiencing violence in the home.
How can the authors of such a law expect those who need help the most to divulge any homicidal feelings to a doctor knowing they may end up in a mental hospital or jail for doing so?
Six other states — Alabama, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia — have considered similar legislation in recent years.
The White House has yet to publish the full details and scope of the orders, including the one relating to doctors and guns.
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