On August 1, 2009–just seven months into President Barack Obama’s first term–former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin predicted Obama would attempt to leverage health care to “take away” the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
In a speech to National Rifle Association members in Anchorage, Alaska, Palin said Americans should be “wary” of this “tie-in” because Obama would attempt to “take away our rights under the guise of some new health care plan”:
And by the way, [with] health care being so big in D.C. right now, be wary when some kind of tie-in occurs. Because it will crop up: a tie-in with guns in an attempt to take away our rights under the guise of some new health care plan. You know that this is coming–that the two issues will somehow crop up and they’ll be tied together. So we have to be very wary of that.
On Wednesday–more than three years after Palin’s warning–Obama did exactly what the former governor forecasted.
During a press conference wherein he issued 23 executive actions regarding guns and unveiled his gun control proposals, including a ban on so-called assault weapons, Obama said “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.”
To make it easier for doctors to do so, Obama also issued executive actions that would “clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.” The White House also released “a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.”In Obama’s gun control plan, which the White House released on Wednesday, there is a section titled “Preserve The Rights of Mental Health Care Providers To Protect Their Patients and Communities From Gun Violence.”