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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


January 3, 2014 - 12:07 pm

Are the two actions that the Obama administration announced today legal? Does it matter?

Vice President Biden’s office announced the proposals Friday afternoon. Both pertain to the ability of states to provide information about the mentally ill and those seeking mental health treatment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

One proposal would formally give permission to states to submit “the limited information necessary to help keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands,” without having to worry about the privacy provisions in a law known as HIPAA.

“The proposed rule will not change the fact that seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm,” the statement said. “Furthermore, nothing in the proposed rule would require reporting on general mental health visits or other routine mental health care, or would exempt providers solely performing these treatment services from existing privacy rules.”

The other proposal would clarify that those who are involuntarily committed to a mental institution — both inpatient and outpatient — count under the law as “committed to a mental institution.” According to the administration, this change will help clarify for states what information to provide to the background check system, as well as who is barred from having guns.

Can the president simply wave away the privacy protections in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)? HIPAA was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It specifically protects the following:

Protected Health Information. The Privacy Rule protects all “individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. The Privacy Rule calls this information “protected health information (PHI).”12

“Individually identifiable health information” is information, including demographic data, that relates to:

  • the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
  • the provision of health care to the individual, or
  • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual,

and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.13  Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number).

HIPAA may be about to join DOMA among the laws Congress has passed that Barack Obama intends to just set aside because he wants to.

Once word of these proposals spreads, expect to see another spike in gun and ammunition sales.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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best thing to do at this point is to simply ignore the 'halfwit on the hill'. pay no attention to anything it does. do not sign up for any of this misguided lunacy. what if they held a party and nobody showed up? does it really plan on going door to door to enforce its marxist mania? every generation has its insane messiah and its army of easily duped useful idiots. in our case, we have half educated lawyer types trying to be tricky w/ the wording. one day it means one thing, next day it means something else, like obamacare.

good news is, when we regain our country (and we will) and imprison what is left of the usurpers, the people (Patriots) will easily know who it was that put our families in harm's way. long overdue real justice will prevail. trying to wrench the guns away with petty (illegal) rules will only end in more and more resistance. I predict the gun grabs will one day soon lead to expected violent and bloody confrontations. be prepared. disarming America is not about what is best for anybody, except in the marxist's minds.

civil disobedience has its uses against injustice, right Dr. King? up to a point.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And yet the New York Times got the vapors over this very action because its board sees the orders as proof that Obama knows that gun restrictions can't pass Congress.
1 year ago
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