Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has something to say to gun owners: “Own a gun; lose your coverage!”
Baucus’ socialized health care bill comes up for a Finance Committee vote on Tuesday. We have waited and waited and waited for the shifty Baucus to release legislative language. But he has refused to release anything but a summary -- and we will never have a Congressional Budget Office cost assessment based on actual legislation. Even the summary was kept secret for a long time.
But, on the basis of the summary, the Baucus bill (which is still unnumbered) tells us virtually nothing about what kind of policy Americans will be required to purchase under penalty of law -- nor the consequences. It simply says:
* “all U.S. citizens and legal residents would be required to purchase coverage through (1) the individual market...”;
* in addition to an extensive list of statutorily mandated coverage, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be empowered to “define and update the categories of treatments, items, and services...” within an insurance plan which would be covered in a policy constituting “required minimum health coverage.”
Obamacare and Gun Control
It is nearly certain that coverage prescribed by the administration will, to control costs, exclude coverage for what it regards as excessively dangerous activities. And, given Sebelius’ well-established antipathy to the Second Amendment -- she vetoed concealed carry legislation as governor of Kansas -- we presume she will define these dangerous activities to include hunting and self-defense using a firearm. It is even possible that the Obama-prescribed policy could preclude reimbursement of any kind in a household which keeps a loaded firearm for self-defense.
The ObamaCare bill already contains language that will punish Americans who engage in unhealthy behavior by allowing insurers to charge them higher insurance premiums. (What constitutes an unhealthy lifestyle is, of course, to be defined by legislators.) Don’t be surprised if an anti-gun nut like Sebelius uses this line of thinking to impose ObamaCare policies which result in a back-door gun ban on any American who owns “dangerous” firearms.
After all, insurers already (and routinely) drop homeowners from their policies for owning certain types of guns or for refusing to use trigger locks (that is, for keeping their guns ready for self-defense!). While not all insurers practice this anti-gun behavior, Gun Owners of America has documented that some do -- Prudential and State Farm being two of the most well-known.
The good news is that because homeowner insurance is private (and is still subject to the free market) you can go to another company if one drops you. But what are you going to do under nationalized ObamaCare when the regulations written by Secretary Sebelius suspend the applicability of your government-mandated policy because of your gun ownership?
All of this is in addition to something that GOA has been warning you about for several months … the certainty that minimum acceptable policies will dump your gun information into a federal database … a certainty that is reinforced by language in the summary providing for a study to “encourage increased meaningful use of electronic health records.”
Remember, the federal government has already denied more than 150,000 military veterans the right to own guns, without their being convicted of a crime or receiving any due process of law. They were denied because of medical information (such as PTSD) that the FBI later determined disqualified these veterans to own guns.
Is this what we need on a national level being applied to every gun owner in America?
Incidentally, failure to comply would subject the average family to $1,500 in fines -- and possibly more for a household with older teens. And, although a Schumer amendment purports to exempt Americans from prison sentences for non-purchase of an ObamaPolicy -- something which was never at issue -- it doesn’t prohibit them from being sent to prison for a year and fined an additional $25,000 under the Internal Revenue Code for non-payment of the initial fines.