Some Gun control and health advocates want the “Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights” provision in Obamacare removed. The movement in the United States to treat weapons as a matter of medicine and public health has allegedly been thwarted by the gun rights portion of the health care bill. The inclusion of the wording which protects patients from answering questions about firearms ownership is being credited to the efforts of the National Rifle Association.
Some public health professionals are concerned research, and even medical care, will be hindered by the largely unknown Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights language in Obamacare, according to the Washington Post. The section in the Affordable Care Act was added after the bill passed the Senate Finance Committee and before a full vote was taken, according to the Standard-Examiner.
Although the ability of patients to keep their gun ownership details to themselves when going to see a doctor about a stomach ache has been included in the Obamacare bill since 2010, some lawmakers and medical groups are reportedly just now discovering the text. The lack of lawmaker knowledge about any part of any passed bill is likely an unsettling thought for many Americans. The ‘We have to pass the bill so that you can see what’s in it’ comment by Nancy Pelosi may be coming back to haunt some gun control advocates in Congress.
The NRA noted that the gun rights organization requested the Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights provision in order to protect patients. Concerns that health insurance companies could use gun ownership information uttered by patients as a reason to raise rates, reportedly prompted the NRA to lobby for the Obamacare inclusion.
University of Pennsylvania professor of social policy Susan Sorenson had this to say about the Second Amendment measure in the Affordable Care Act:
“A lot of people buy guns every year, and it’s a health concern. For physicians and other health care professionals not to be able to ask about these issues and record them is counterproductive. Doctors ask patients about illegal drug use, disease history and sexual habits, So, Why not guns? To regulate what the provider can or can’t do really intrudes into the role of the health care provider, which is to ensure the health of the individual and the people who are living in that home.”
Snorting cocaine on a regular basis or having recently been treated for a venereal disease could obviously have a direct impact on a patient’s overall health. Exactly how not knowing that a patient owns a firearm would hinder medical care is unclear. Gun rights activists reportedly have a difficult time understanding why having a concealed carry permit or a rifle locked in a gun safe could have any impact on why a patient has diarrhea or a runny nose.
Do you think that doctors need to know if a patient or a family member owns a gun in order to offer medical treatment?