This Is How a Secret Gun Provision Made its Way Into Obamacare Legislation
There’s a widely-unknown provision in the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) — legislative wording that is capturing attention in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Pushed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), a newly-noticed regulation that was placed deep within the bill back in 2010, among other things, bans doctors from documenting patients’ answers to questions that focus upon guns.
The Washington Post first reported on Dec. 30 about the presence of this controversial wording. Under a section with the headline “Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights,” the NRA-advocated wording is nestled deep within the law. The Post called the inclusion, “a largely overlooked but significant challenge to a movement in American medicine to treat firearms as a matter of public health.”
As the outlet also noted, it was in the final stretch of the debate over Obama’s health care legislation that the NRA successfully pushed to insert this language. Below, see the portions of the Affordable Care Act that include mentions of firearms and the parameters through which doctors must operate in questioning patients (read the entire health care bill here):
On Tuesday, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke on-air with “Situation Room” host Wolf Blitzer. The two discussed how the gun provision made its way into health care legislation, while also explaining portions of the text for viewers.
Gupta noted that the initiative to have the wording included during the contentious health care debate was rooted in the NRA’s stance that patients should not be penalized or discriminated against for owning firearms. As can be seen from the above portion of the legislation, while doctors are not banned from asking about guns, they are forbidden from documenting the information and using it for research purposes.
Watch Gupta explain the additive language:
In addition to gun-owner information and how it must be handled by doctors, the text also notes that the law cannot be used to keep and maintain records of individuals’ firearm possession, nor can it be used to track ammunition. Additionally, the language deals with the price of health care coverage, noting that cost cannot be impacted by the possession or ownership of guns, the Post also reported.
Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook, the presence of this provision has gained some press, with select politicians and medical groups taking a stand against it. Advocates are worried that research and medical care could suffer as a result of the wording; some are even pushing the Obama administration to consider changes to the text in light of recent events and an impending battle over new gun control legislation.
The Post has more about the ongoing battle between the NRA and physicians and advocates who stand opposed to the language inserted into the Affordable Care legislation:
NRA officials say they requested the provision out of concern that insurance companies could use such data to raise premiums on gun owners. The measure’s supporters in the Senate say they did not intend to interfere with the work of doctors or researchers.
But physician groups and researchers see the provision as part of a decades-long strategy by the gun lobby to choke off federal support for studies of firearms violence.
The research restrictions began in the 1990s, when the NRA urged Congress to cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division that studied gun violence. In 1996, Congress sharply limited the agency’s ability to fund that type of research.
Just as interesting as the debate over the provision, itself, is the notion that it was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), an NRA-supporter, who added the wording to the bill back in 2010. While a spokesperson for Reid told the Post that the leader never spoke with the NRA about the wording and that he did not believe that “it changed gun laws in any way,” that hasn’t stopped critics from wondering why Reid so staunchly supported the measure.
The language was purportedly added to stem off criticism from the NRA that could have railroaded, delayed or prevented the controversial health care bill from passing. Also, the wording was placed deep within the bill in an effort to convince people not to embrace so-called conspiracy theories about Obamacare — mainly that the legislation would be used to keep and maintain a massive gun-ownership database. Once the langage was added, the NRA reportedly remained neutral regarding passage of the law.
While Reid has been a gun rights advocate for quite some time, the politician may be having a change of heart in the wake of recent shootings and controversy surrounding this language. An adviser who spoke off-the-record, recently told CNN that the senator is “in a different place than he was in 2010″ when it comes to firearms.
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- ‘The Daily Show’ Creator Makes Outrageously Offensive Anti-Conservative Joke About Okla. Tornado 473 Comments
- Washington Times Writer: Fox News Scandal Goes ‘Much Deeper,’ W.H. Sitting on Something Top Obama Aides ‘Terrified’ About 444 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 375 Comments
- University Will Investigate Christian Professor’s Intelligent Design Class Following Atheist Furor 329 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 297 Comments
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ Read More
- Teacher Admits She ‘Prayed Out Loud’ During Violent Tornado: ‘I Did the Teacher Thing that We’re Probably Not Supposed to Do’ Read More
- Farrakhan Talks of ‘Satanic Jews’ and ‘Synagogue of Satan’ at Detroit Church Speech — but Wait Until You Hear Who Was in Attendance 185 Comments
- Biden Praises Jewish Leaders for Helping Change Americans’ Views on Gay Marriage Read More
- ‘Death! You F**k!’: Bat Mitzvah Chaperone Unleashes Explosive, Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Kids Over Candy-Throwing Incident Read More
- Report: No IRS Workers Have Been Disciplined & Union Says It Hasn’t Been Contacted on Personnel Read More
- Ex-Cincinnati IRS Manager: This Was Not the Work of ‘Low-Level’ Employees Read More
- China Sets off What Could Be the World’s Longest Demolition Read More
- Here are the 5 Most Interesting Moments from Tuesday’s Hearing on the IRS Scandal 142 Comments
- Jay Carney Shifts IRS Timeline (Again!) 106 Comments
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 102 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- House panel moves to curb military sexual assaults
- AP source: Obama on Sunday to visit Oklahoma town devastated by monstrous tornado
- 'Boom Town Baby': African stock markets see gains
- First lady lauds effort to preserve DC slave house
- Attorney: Donald Trump lied on stand
- House takes up GOP bill to speed pipeline approval
- FBI: Man fatally shot in Boston bombing probe
- Congo fighting persists as UN chief arrives