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Health reform and gun rights?

By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted: 10 am ET

Here in Florida, it remains open season on President Barack Obama's health care reform. Florida, of course, is leading the 26-state challenge to the health care overhaul. Our new Governor, Rick Scott, just sent a big no thanks to Washington, turning down the startup funds to get things rolling on health care reform at the state level until the Supreme Court weighs in.

And now a state congressman is reviving an issue that most thought was pretty well settled by the Affordable Care Act itself: gun rights.

The legislator is reportedly sponsoring a house bill entitled the Privacy of Firearms Owners Act, in part because he's afraid that health care reform will result in higher health insurance rates for gun owners.

If you missed this cockeyed argument the first time around, it goes like this: Somehow health care reform is going to require your doctor to poll you about your firearms, which they will somehow be obliged to share with the gum'mint, the insurance companies and probably the lizard-like overseers on "V." Once you're flagged as a gun-toter in a database of gun owners, your health insurance rates will increase.

And death panels will quietly dispatch Grandma in her sleep.

In reality, this chilling scenario has already been eliminated by a special section of the ACA called "Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights." It reads in part:

"A premium rate may not be increased, health insurance coverage may not be denied, and a discount, rebate, or reward offered for participation in a wellness program may not be reduced or withheld (based on) ... the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition."

As PolitiFact Florida recently pointed out, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid specifically added this provision to the health care reform bill, not because the threat was legitimate -- there is no such thing as a national database of gun ownership -- but because the gun lobby thought the government might use the ACA to create a national gun registry.

I've never had a doctor probe me about my personal arsenal, though it sounds like it could be painful. Nor have I ever filled out any health insurance forms that questioned my caliber, other than mental. If there's a database on alcohol or caffeine use, I'm probably on it, but likely so are you, which kind of defeats the purpose, right?

So rest easy, gun aficionados: Obamacare doesn't want to wrest your weapon from your warm, moist hands, nor is it fixing to ambush your health insurance rates.

In fact, if my state's crusade to overturn health care reform is successful, your Second Amendment protection may be thrown out along with it.

Just something to think about.

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2 Comments
bountiful insurance
April 02, 2011 at 3:27 pm

The sweeping health care bill would leave in place the current private insurance system in which most people get coverage from their employer. But the bill would set federal rules for the individual market