Government Take Over Of Health Care–GOP Style

Republicans have repeated the lie many times that virtually any government involvement in health care policy, regardless of how necessary, represents a “government take over of health care.” They ignore the fact that it is the authoritarian right which regularly has government extend into personal matters where it does not belong. This has included their opposition to abortion rights, support for restrictions on the availability of contraception, and intrusion in end of life decisions as in the Terri Schiavo case. Republicans in Florida are expanding this policy even further in Florida, prohibiting doctors from discussing whether there are guns in the home. NPR reports:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill that will make the state the first in the nation to prohibit doctors from asking patients if they own guns. The bill is aimed particularly at pediatricians, who routinely ask new parents if they have guns at home and if they’re stored safely.

Pediatricians say it’s about preventing accidental injuries. Gun rights advocates say the doctors have a political agenda.

As parents know, pediatricians ask a lot of questions. Dr. Louis St. Petery says it’s all part of what doctors call “anticipatory guidance” — teaching parents how to safeguard against accidental injuries. Pediatricians ask about bike helmets, seat belts and other concerns.

“If you have a pool, let’s talk about pool safety so we don’t have accidental drownings,” he says. “And if you have firearms, let’s talk about gun safety so that they’re stored properly — you know, the gun needs to be locked up, the ammunition stored separate from the gun, etc., so that children don’t have access to them.”

For decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics has encouraged its members to ask questions about guns and how they’re stored, as part of well-child visits.

But Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association’s lobbyist in Tallahassee, says that’s not a pediatrician’s job.

“We take our children to pediatricians for medical care — not moral judgment, not privacy intrusions,” she says.

NRA lobbyists helped write a bill that largely bans health professionals from asking about guns. Hammer says she and other NRA members consider the questions an intrusion on their Second Amendment rights.

“This bill is about helping families who are complaining about being questioned about gun ownership, and the growing anti-gun political agenda being carried out in examination rooms by doctors and staffs,” Hammer says.

It’s not just questions in the examining room that lead the NRA to charge pediatricians with a political agenda. Out of concern for the high number of firearms injuries among children and adolescents, the American Academy of Pediatrics is also on record supporting gun control.

Why do Republicans hate children?

Quote of the Day

“Sen. John McCain met with the CEO of Twitter today. At least that’s what he tried to tweet on his garage door opener.” –Conan O’Brien