The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Are executive gun orders a 'tax' under Obamacare, Mr. Chief Justice?

napoleonWe had to pass The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, before then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said we could find out exactly what was in it. We found out that “The Secretary shall decide…”, or other words to that effect, appear over 100 times in the ACA.

It turns out that since arms, and the bearing thereof (and, arguably every other object and activity under the Sun), “affect” health, and since five lawyers on the Supreme Court declared Obamacare constitutional (although no more than four justices could agree on any one provision of the U.S. Constitution under which the ACA could be deemed so), the Second Amendment has competition bearing on the right to bear arms.

Consider the following portions of yesterday’s executive proclamations from the chief executive over the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:

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… 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…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. [Emphases added]

Shall the Secretary of HHS decide if doctors that fail to monitor patients’ guns may lose their licenses to practice medicine or be subject to vicarious civil or criminal liability for crimes committed by the un-monitored? May Prozac-prescribed patients sue doctors that report them as a “risk” if they don’t commit a violent act before the statutes of limitations, if any, expire? The Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause requires a judicial adjudication to deny a person their Liberty via  involuntarily commitment due to mental illness. Can the Secretary now decide what process is due in light of Obamacare to deny Second Amendment rights?

A doctor shortage was already developing in this country in anticipation of Obamacare regulations and its effect on the health and health insurance industries before President Barack Obama decided to enlist physicians in his post-Sandy Hook gun control efforts, sans Congress. Will any pre-med student, not aspiring to emulate Inspector Javert (pictured, actor Charles Laughton in Les Miserables), apply for student loans in the six figures for the right to be regulated by HHS bureaucrats on “gun health” treatments?

President Obama appears intent on replacing the right to bear arms across the Fruited Plain with the “right” to health care if you can find a doctor before you turn 100. Of course, at such an advanced age the price of a pacemaker will not be justified, no matter any “subjective” will to live as per President Obama at a Town Hall meeting in 2009. Hence you will be told to take your painkiller and  go home, except in New York City where Mayor Bloomberg’s Pain Panel coordinates with Obamacare’s death panel to save money for trans fat, cigarette and jumbo Coke police. Wouldn’t want you to get sick on food, drink or a Newport; or be harmed by criminals no longer in fear of Rudy Giuliani or the legally armed?

Obamacare was already causing companies to fire full-time employees or convert them to part-time due to mandates that the former be provided health insurance by their employer. Hospitals are subject to fines under the ACA if they treat an indigent person in the ER more than once per month. Braces and other medical devices are now taxed under the Act.

President Obama declared his goal to “fundamentally transform” America before his first Inauguration. As we approach his Second Inaugural, we see the prospect of the nation four years hence being more accurately dubbed the United States of Obamacare than the good ole USA he inherited four years ago.

To your health…until the next executive order.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Mike DeVine is a former op-ed columnist at the Charlotte Observer and legal editor of The (Decatur) Champion (legal organ of DeKalb County, Georgia). He is currently with the Ruf Law Firm in Atlanta Metro and conservative voice of the Atlanta Times News.

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