You guys have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas. Our efforts together in lobbying against ObamaCare have netted some positive gains, and that has the political left up in arms.
The writers at the ultra-liberal Slate magazine are beside themselves that an organization like the Gun Owners of America was able to move the Senate to include protections for gun owners. According to Slate on December 20:
Score one for the Gun Owners of America, a lobby group positioned well to the right of the National Rifle Association…. [T]o pacify GOA, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (who represents the gun-loving state of Nevada has inserted into his “manager's amendment” a section titled “Protecting 2nd Amendment Gun Rights.” It states that no wellness program implemented under health reform may require disclosure or collection of any information relating to gun ownership.
Senator Reid tries to appease Gun Owners; leaves naysayers out on a limb
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In the face of all this abuse, Senator Reid was pressured by GOA and his constituents into making a face-saving move. He wanted to silence the pro-gun community’s objections, so he took steps to strip the bill of any gun rights concerns.
But what a delicious irony this created. Prior to Senator Reid’s Second Amendment “fix,” many Senators had been telling their constituents for months that there were no Second Amendment concerns in the ObamaCare legislation -- and now, Senator Reid left them out on a limb.
“There is no mention of ‘gun-related health data’ anywhere in the Senate’s health reform bill, and there is nothing in the bill that would result in any such data being reported to the government,” said Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to one constituent. “I support the Second Amendment and will continue to uphold the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms.”
Senator Casey supports the Second Amendment? What a laugh! Has Senator Casey seen his voting record on the GOA website? This year, he’s voted wrong on gun issues over 70% of the time.
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Then there’s Democrat Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico: “It is my understanding that there is no discussion within the Senate concerning firearms in relation to health care. Please be assured I will keep your comments in mind as the Senate debates comprehensive health care reform.”
Senator Bingaman, will you really keep the views of your constituents in mind? If so, then why did you vote for the ObamaCare bill? After all, more than 60% of the American people oppose it!
To listen to these and other liberal Senators, you would think there were no Second Amendment concerns in President Obama’s signature piece of legislation. But then, lo and behold, Senator Reid included language in his substitute amendment that totally undercut these Senators’ excuses.
GOA lobbying saves gun owners from bureaucratic mischief
Slate then goes on to lament the other victory that GOA scored:
[G]un owners also won another provision forbidding private insurers participating in the bill's exchanges from charging higher premiums, or denying coverage, or denying wellness discounts on the basis of gun ownership. Unlike the previous section, this one doesn't place a restriction on what government may do. It places a restriction on what the private sector may choose to do on its own. It inhibits that most holy of right-wing sacred cows: free enteprise [sic].
The socialists at Slate magazine hate free enterprise so much, they can’t even spell the word correctly. It’s reminiscent of the Fonz from Happy Days trying unsuccessfully years ago to get the words “I was wr-wr-wrong” out of his mouth.
Yes, it’s true that GOA won a victory in this area. But GOA’s opposition to the “wellness” regulations was not driven by an effort to help big business, as it was totally driven by opposition to GOVERNMENT REGULATION that would impinge upon gun owners.
Every draft of the ObamaCare legislation on Capitol Hill would give Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tremendous regulatory power. And in early versions of the Senate bill, the anti-gun Sebelius could very well have mandated that gun ownership is an activity so dangerous that your insurance coverage needed to be suspended.
The Reid “fix” prohibits companies from charging insurance premiums that would impinge upon “lawful” gun owners, but this will leave millions of gun owners in the cold -- specifically, those honest Americans who cannot legally own firearms in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
Slate, of course, didn’t pick up on these loopholes in the Reid compromise, but then, you can’t expect a liberal cheerleader for the Obama machine to be overly careful about analyzing a Democrat-sponsored bill.
So the bottom line? Yes, thanks to your constant pressure, Gun Owners of America won a skirmish in the battle against socialized health care and gained some protections for gun owners.
But also remember that the ObamaCrats never really had our interests in mind and that they never really solved all the Second Amendment problems in the health care bill. Again, even with the Reid “fix,” it’s still possible that ATF agents could troll through your medical information and send that data to the FBI, who in turn, could use it to deny honest Americans their right to keep and bear arms -- similar to the 150,000 military veterans who have now lost their gun rights.
The Senate is expected to vote on final passage of the ObamaCare bill Thursday. The bill is expected to pass, but the fight is far from over. So please stay tuned, as Gun Owners of America will continue to keep you abreast of the latest developments.
Thanks again for all your activism this year. It really makes our job a whole lot easier.
Have a Merry Christmas!