In a move meant to lessen the number of gunshot victims and possibly help lower healthcare costs, the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed to go forward with a bill that would ban the sale and manufacture of about 150 semi-automatic weapons.
The bill passed by a 10-8 vote Thursday, and led by the Democrats, is aimed at lowering the number of gun-related deaths, and therefore, lower the cost of healthcare in the future - particularly Medicaid.
President Obama, who supports the measure, said the ban would help reduce gun violence and that assault weapons have "no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers."
Often absent from gun control issues, however, are the staggering effects gun shot victims have on our healthcare system.
According to a Vanderbilt Medical Center study last year, 79 percent of those receiving care for gunshot wounds in the Nashville area were enrolled in Medicaid.
Economist Ted Miller, of the Center for Public Health Improvement and Innovation, found medical costs for gunshot victims cost taxpayers more than $3 billion a year. Gunshot wounds claimed more than 115,000 victims in 2010 and $400 million on insurance claims proceedings. Miller also found that 28 percent of those injured with firearms are on Medicaid.
Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Ca., who sponsors the bill, is aware it will face stiff opposition. "The road is uphill, Feinstein said, "I understand that."