The most prescient thing ever said about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, was articulated by then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
The latest revelation from its thousands of pages? A passage prohibiting doctors from asking their patients questions about guns in the home.
The Washington Post reports that many gun control groups are incensed at the power of the NRA to limit their ability to “collect information”:
Physician groups and public health advocates say the cumulative effect of these restrictions undercuts the ability of the White House and lawmakers to make the case for new laws, such as an assault-weapons ban, in the face of opponents who argue that there’s no evidence such measures are effective. Advocates for regulating guns lament that reliable statistics are limited in part because physicians and health researchers who could track these patterns are being inhibited.
Considering the quality of previous doctor-led sociological studies into gun usage — and really, this is not a medical problem but a complex, society-wide issue far beyond the competence of medical training to comprehend — the prohibition might really best be described as a defense of scientific method.
But the big issue here is not the politics of “research.” It’s that a health care reform package passed nearly three years ago contains hot potatoes such as this, and we are only discovering them now.
Nancy, you were all too disastrously correct.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.