“HR 1 is about more than just pork. Millions of gun owners stand to lose their gun rights without any due process.” Larry Pratt, GOA Executive Director
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Obama administration is putting a lot of pressure on Congress to slam through the most recent $800+ billion bailout package before anyone has an opportunity to read it.
The Obama administration intones that the details are unimportant. The only thing that matters is the “bigness.” And, by shipping a bill of nearly $900 billion (plus interest) to our children and grandchildren, the package is really, really big –- bigger, in fact, than the budget of our entire government for the first 170 years of our country’s existence.
But now that some of the details are finally starting to leak out of Washington, Gun Owners -– and a lot of other analysts -– are beginning to look at the fine print. And some of it is particularly scary.
Of particular concern to gun owners are sections 13101 through 13434 of HR 1, which would set up the infrastructure to computerize the medical records of ALL AMERICANS in a government-coordinated database.
True, the bill doesn’t mandate that the data will be in a giant computer under the Oval Office. But it does mandate that your medical records be reduced to a computerized form which is available to it in a second.
This it would do by establishing a National Coordinator for Health Information Technology –- tasked with, among other things, “providing information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care.”
It should be scary enough that a government bureaucrat is directed by statute to try to influence your doctor’s decisions with respect to your medical care.
But of even greater concern to gun owners is the fact that a government-coordinated database (which government can freely access) will now contain all records of government-provided and private psychiatric treatment -– including, in particular, the drugs which were prescribed.
Remember last year’s “NICS Improvement Act” otherwise known as the Veterans Disarmament Act? This law codified ATF’s attempts to make you a prohibited person on the basis of a government psychiatrist’s finding that you are a “danger” –- without a finding by any court. Well, roughly 150,000 battle-scarred veterans have already been unfairly stripped of their gun rights by the government.
But people who, as kids, were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder... or seniors with Alzheimer’s... or police with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder... or people who are now theoretically covered by the new law... these people have, generally, not suffered the consequences of its sanctions YET. And the chief reason is that their records are not easily available to the government in a central, easily retrievable, computerized form.
The bailout bill would change all of that. It would push increasingly hard to force your private psychiatrist or government-sanctioned psychiatrist to turn over your psychiatric records to a massive database. This would be mandated immediately if your doctor does business with the government.
This would supposedly save Medicare money in connection with medical treatment. And, the sponsors insist, they would work very hard to protect your privacy.
But this turns the concept of “privacy” on its head. The privacy which is MOST important is privacy from the prying eyes of government –- not privacy of government data against the prying eyes of others. After all, many government data bases have been hacked in recent years, with mountains of information stolen.
So, once the government has access to these computerized psychiatric records, the stage will be set for using that database to take away the gun rights of those with Alzheimer’s, those with ADD, and those with PTSD.
ACTION: Write your two senators. Urge them to vote against the bailout bill (HR 1) until it is stripped of provisions which would turn your psychiatric records over to a central government-coordinated database against your will without you getting your day in court.
You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your Senators the pre-written e-mail message below. - Prewritten Letter - Dear Senator:
I am particularly concerned about sections 13101 through 13434 of the new bailout bill (HR 1). These sections would set up the infrastructure to computerize the medical records of ALL AMERICANS in a government-coordinated database, including psychiatric records.
It is scary enough that a government bureaucrat is directed by statute to try to influence my doctor’s decisions with respect to my medical care.
But of even greater concern to gun owners is the fact that a government-coordinated database will now contain all records of government-provided and private psychiatric treatment.
Last year’s “NICS Improvement Act” codified ATF’s attempts to make a person a prohibited person on the basis of a government psychiatrist’s finding that he is a “danger” –- without a finding by any court. Well, roughly 150,000 battle-scarred veterans have already been unfairly stripped of their gun rights by the government.
Now, this new government-coordinated database threatens the gun rights of people who, as kids, were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder... seniors with Alzheimer’s... police with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder... and many other law-abiding Americans.
Please vote against cloture on HR 1 until this provision is removed.