South Carolina's youngest state representative, 24-year-old Joshua Putnam, recently proposed a bill that would ban most health care providers from asking whether their patients own guns. Its purpose is to fend off a nonexistent Obama plan to register all gun owners and possibly take away their weapons. "We don't want the federal government to come down and hold any Medicaid or Medicare dollars over our heads if doctors don't give up information about their patient's guns," says Putnam. "We want to protect physicians and we want to protect the citizens."Really? Even after a host of similar legislation (.pdf) was struck down, tabled, ticked off local docs, and otherwise made life miserable for legislators? My colleague Bill Begg says:
It's one among a recent wave of similar pro-gun legislation that doctors say could be detrimental to their patients. That pushback from medical professionals has made at least a few Republicans skittish: Three of the South Carolina bill's cosigners dropped off this month.
"Physicians are interested in [keeping] our patients alive and allowing them to live longer, and part of that has to do with gun violence," says Dr. William Begg, an emergency room physician in Danbury, Connecticut, who treated victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Rather than encouraging doctors to tell their patients about the well-documented health risks of owning guns, Begg warns that legislation like Putnam's "makes it easier for health care providers to remain silent for fear of reprisal."Hartford Courant:
News that the U.S. Senate would not take up a ban on assault weapons hit Newtown residents hard Wednesday.Pat's a Republican (here's a case where that really doesn't matter locally) but she gets it. In any case, be prepared for ups and downs and the long haul. Oh, and Bill Begg is quoted in this one, too:
"I'm very disappointed — heartbroken, actually," said Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra. "I get it, I understand how the politics work and how it's really all about numbers, but I can say in my heart and in my soul I want so much to honor and trust our government, but I feel shaken to the core again. If what happens here in Newtown doesn't convince people that we need to make some changes I don't know what else could happen."
"You wonder how we can ever make a difference and what is our government all about," she said. "I really question what it is that the people in Washington are looking at that's so different than what I'm looking at that tells them we don't need change."
"When you live in Newtown and every single day you walk by someone who has been directly or indirectly affected, there's no way you can forget," said Dr. William Begg, a Newtown resident and emergency room physician, who testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control. "It's that sense of community and loss that I see every day that keeps us going to try to afford some change."So true.
More politics and policy below the fold.
Yankees, Red Sox come together to honor NewtownDavid Ignatius:
America’s two most storied baseball teams will set aside their rivalry on opening day to honor the victims of the Newtown massacre. On April 1, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will start their season by commemorating the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
Ten years ago this week, I was covering the U.S. military as it began its assault on Iraq. As I read back now over my clips, I see a few useful warnings about the difficulties ahead. But I owe readers an apology for being wrong on the overriding question of whether the war made sense.Yes, you do. Thanks for making one.
Why not? Republicans constantly push the idea that government can't do anything. Everyone has reasons to think it in certain areas, so that's fertile ground to plow. But when it comes to Medicare, not so much.
A majority of Americans disapprove of the Republicans in Congress, yet the odds remain in the party’s favor that it will retain control of the House. One big reason the Republicans have this edge: their district boundaries are drawn so carefully that the only votes that often matter come from fellow Republicans.Not the whole story, though, because much of it is that large populations of D's live in cities. That doesn't affect Senate races, but it sure matters in the House if all your votes are concentrated in one district.
Me, too. P.S. Don't forget Markos.
“The GOP Still Won’t Own Up To Its Real Problem With Voters.” This headline of Joshua Green’s smart piece for Bloomberg Businessweek on the Republican Party autopsy of its failed 2012 presidential effort nails it. Actually, Green points to two very real problems on which the GOP remains steadfastly mute.Here's the original Joshua Green piece.
One problem was the Republican Party’s vast effort to disenfranchise African American voters (and the young, I might add). The other was numerous GOP figures’ perpetuation of the racist “birther” lie against President Obama without so much as a corrective “Oh, no you don’t” from the party establishment. On this latter point, Green wrote, “I’ll leave it to those better qualified than I am to say precisely what effect this had on minorities’ view of the GOP….”
Considering I’m African American and have hammered the Republican Party establishment for its complicity in furthering the delegitimizing lie that Obama wasn’t born in this country (and thus occupying the Oval Office illegally), let me talk about the effect this had.
Blacks hated it — and continue to hate it.