Is anyone surprised to find the NRA's fingerprints smudging our so-called health-care reform?
Surprise is sometimes expressed about the tenacity and durability of the right-wing interest groups on the workings of government, like the gun-and-armaments lobby so ably fronted by the National Rifle Association. What's often forgotten by those who are surprised is that those interests aren't bolsterd by mere ideology. Indeed ideology as such is almost the least of their reserves of strength.
The key, I venture, is commerce. As we've remarked before, it's the signal advantage of the solons of the Right that their ideology goes hand in hand with their financial interests. It is, all too often, an unbeatable comination.
And so, I suggest, there's hardly any reason to be surprised by the discovery that tucked away among the zillions of pages of the so-called "health-care reform" package that was the Affordable Care Act are evidences of the handiwork of -- ta-da! -- the NRA! Well done, lads!
This newly reported by the Washington Post:
Feel free to read on at your leisure, if you have the stomach for it. In any case, one thing you can trust is that the NRA's team in DC keeps a close vigil on pretty much every piece of legislation snaking its way through the houses of Congress.
The words were tucked deep into the sprawling text of President Obama’s signature health-care overhaul. Under the headline “Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights” was a brief provision restricting the ability of doctors to gather data about their patients’ gun use — a largely overlooked but significant challenge to a movement in American medicine to treat firearms as a matter of public health.
The language, pushed by the National Rifle Association in the final weeks of the 2010 debate over health care and discovered only in recent days by some lawmakers and medical groups, is drawing criticism in the wake of this month’s schoolhouse massacre of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Conn. Some public health advocates, worried that the measure will hinder research and medical care, are calling on the White House to amend the language as it prepares to launch a gun-control initiative in January.
NRA officials say they requested the provision out of concern that insurance companies could use such data to raise premiums on gun owners. The measure’s supporters in the Senate say they did not intend to interfere with the work of doctors or researchers.
But physician groups and researchers see the provision as part of a decades-long strategy by the gun lobby to choke off federal support for studies of firearms violence. . . .