Obamacare Could Pit Provisions to Safeguard Gun Owners' Rights Against 'Executive Order 16'

The National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America were successful in ensuring the Affordable Care Act prohibits creation of a firearms database and stops doctors from disclosing or collecting information relating to a patient's firearms. However, Obamacare contains "sneaky backdoor" provisions that could jeopardize gun ownership for nearly 550,000 Americans (including veterans arbitrarily diagnosed with PTSD), according to a recent Townhall.com blog.

Attorney Rachel Alexander writes in an Oct. 21 Townhall.com blog that Senate Amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, Part C -- incorporated into Obamacare in December 2012 -- includes five provisions that protect gun owners.

However, she notes, those provisions are countered by Order 16 of Obama's 23 executive orders issued in January 2013. Order 16 stresses that, "No federal law prevents healthcare providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence."

And therein lies the rub.

"What constitutes a 'threat of violence' could be very arbitrary," writes Alexander, of Phoenix, Ariz., co-editor of The Intellectual Conservative. "This puts doctors in a difficult position by suggesting they act as pseudo-law enforcement agents."

Alexander says under Obamacare, if a doctor or other healthcare provider has a patient diagnosed with PTSD or mental illness "and they fail to ask the patient about their firearms, or report them to law enforcement, they could be on the hook later. It encourages them to err on the side of snooping into their patients' guns. This is especially troubling considered the definition of mental illness keeps expanding."

In 1999, the Clinton administration ordered the Department of Veteran Affairs to share information about 90,000 veterans considered "mentally defective" with the FBI so they could be added to the national instant check system (NICS) as prohibited possessors, she writes.

To be declared "mentally defective" by the VA does not require an adjudication -- an injustice also being addressed in the House and Senate.

The broad definition "mentally defective," as well as the vagaries of Order 16 means, "Under Obamacare, federal agencies, like the ATF, can still pore over health records and determine who has mental issues or PTSD," Alexander writes. "There is nothing in Obamacare that prohibits another federal agency from compiling a database of gun owners."

The number of Americans defined as "mentally detective" now in the prohibited possessors' database has increased to over 550,000 in recent years "and 11 percent of them are veterans," she adds. "Nearly 40 percent of veterans are believed to have PTSD."

Alexander warns that there are "plenty of healthcare groups clamoring to have Obamacare limit gun ownership," such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and former Surgeon General David Satcher, who headed the Centers for Disease Control in the 1990s and "is blatantly open that the goal is to create a national database of gun owners through Obamacare."

"They're not going to stop, as revisions can still be added to Obamacare to tweak it," she writes.

Among those openly mocking Obamacare provisions that protect gunowners' privacy and Second Amendment rights is Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, founder of Life Planning Partners, Inc., in Jacksonville, Fla.

A frequent contributor to Forbes.com on "medicine and money," McClanahan writes in a July 23, 2012 blog that the five provisions are "dedicated to shutting down conversation about guns in medicine."

One of the provisions states: "Wellness and prevention programs may not require the disclosure or collection of information relating to the presence or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or the use of a firearm."

In response, McClanahan writes: "At least the law didn't say we couldn't ask about it, we just have to do it clandestinely."