Jan 16, 2013 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits
Excerpted from The Washington Times: President Obama is using the national debate over gun violence to push for further action on his health care law, including insisting on the kind of mental health coverage states must provide under their Medicaid programs.
Mr. Obama, unveiling his gun proposals Wednesday barely a month after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., will make it clear that his health law, known as the Affordable Care Act, allows doctors to ask patients whether they have guns in their homes, and will tell them they are able to report any threats of violence they hear to police.
The president also will lay out the mental health coverage that all insurers will be required to provide under his signature-achievement law.
When he says, as italicized below, that “the administration will issue guidance” that means Excecutive Order.
Excerpted from The Weekly Standard: According to a background briefer provided by the White House, President Barack Obama is asking doctors to help deal with guns. Here’s the relevant passage:
PRESERVE THE RIGHTS OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PROTECT THEIR PATIENTS AND COMMUNITIES FROM GUN VIOLENCE: We should never ask doctors and other health care providers to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by guns in the wrong hands.
? Clarify that no federal law prevents health care providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence: Doctors and other mental health professionals play an important role in protecting the safety of their patients and the broader community by reporting direct and credible threats of violence to the authorities. But there is public confusion about whether federal law prohibits such reports about threats of violence. The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits these reports in any way.
? Protect the rights of health care providers to talk to their patients about gun safety: Doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients’ homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home. Some have incorrectly claimed that language in the Affordable Care Act prohibits doctors from asking their patients about guns and gun safety. Medical groups also continue to fight against state laws attempting to ban doctors from asking these questions. The Administration will issue guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit or otherwise regulate communication between doctors and patients, including about firearms.