A nutty conspiracy theory involving doctors gathering intelligence on gun-owning patients in advance of a mass gun-confiscation plan has cropped up again after being touted Wednesday by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
Speaking with evangelical leader Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, the outspoken Paul claimed that the President was "going to use Obamacare apparently to have doctors informing on their patients to whether or not they have guns," and then store the information in "government databanks," reports Right Wing Watch.
Perkins said he, too, had read of this plan to have doctors acting as informants and had been "just flabbergasted."
Paul appears to be referring to a general theory that, in one form or another, has been making the rounds in conservative groups ever since the Gun Owners of America warned in 2009 that Obamacare "could be used to ban guns in home self-defense." At the time, PolitiFact dismissed the claim as false, but Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt resurrected the theories in November, telling VCY America’s "Crosstalk" that Obamacare and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were conspiring to disarm Americans.
[Obamacare] says that all of our medical records are available to be pawed through by bureaucrats somewhere in Washington, looking for a reason to disenfranchise gun owners, to say ‘oh you have a medical diagnosis that means you might be a danger to yourself or others so we’re going to come and knock on the door for the BATF to take away your guns.
Radio personality Rush Limbaugh has apparently also joined the debate. On his show this week, Limbaugh said that wording in Obama's executive gun control package means "your doctor has essentially been deputized."
"Again, folks, this is pushing people's buttons on purpose," Limbaugh added. "This is gonna cause some people to snap. It might."
More credibly, Fox News wrote a long story Thursday that quoted National Rifle Association President David Keene as saying, "The idea that your doctor would ask you if you have firearms in your house as part of an examination of your health is repugnant."
Fox News noted, however, that much of the language that has been seized on is "in line with the policy of most states. All but a few allow mental health professionals to report information about patients they believe may become violent."
And the site also clarified that while the 2010 Affordable Care Act "does not prohibit doctors from asking about firearms, the law states that the government cannot require that information to be disclosed either," and the information cannot be used to raise insurance rates.