The Shiny New "Obama's War on Doctors" Theory

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 17 2013 12:15 PM

The Shiny New "Obama's War on Doctors" Theory

Please allow me to take an outsized amount of credit for something. Yesterday, as soon as the embargo dropped on the White House's gun control "executive actions," I predicted which one would fire up Drudge. It was: "Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes."

Sure enough:

Sergio Munoz does a nice job explaining why the panic is wrong. The Affordable Care Act allows, but doesn't require, doctors to ask whether their patients have guns. ("You keep saying you're so depressed you want to kill yourself. Do you have a gun in the house?" For example.) The language is a little confusing, because it was inserted by Harry Reid to mollify gun owners. But one of the politically clever responses to that Act has been a mini-movement to ban doctors from asking about gun ownership. This is obviously unconstitutional, and has been struck down, but damn it, it sounds like freedom.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.