Archive for massacres

Obama Pulls The Trigger On Mental Health Parity

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Obama signs exec order

Sadly, in the aftermath of some horrible mass murders, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Washington Navy Yard, and the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, we learned that the assailants were or had been receiving some sort of mental health treatments-- medications or counseling. Sadly, they were not enough to stop these tragedies from happening. In some of these cases, the access to care had been limited or even denied because of insurance policy limitations.

In the aftermath there were public cries for gun control. But 2nd amendment rights advocates and more powerfully the NRA successfully placed the blame on these assailants mental disorders. They claim the problem isn't gun control. It's that there's a deficiency in providing mental illness care.

Well, in a movement to address that situation, the Obama administration, as part of their overall health care initiatives and the Sandy Hook massacre have now produced President Obama's 23rd executive order.  It's now official: Health insurance companies must cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases.

TPM:

The administration had pledged to issue a final mental health parity rule as part of an effort to reduce gun violence. Officials said they have now completed or made significant progress on 23 executive actions that were part of a plan announced in response to the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., last December.

"For way too long, the health care system has openly discriminated against Americans with behavioral health problems," Sebelius said in a telephone conference call with reporters. "We are finally closing these gaps in coverage."

What's the significance of this executive order? Quite simply, in the past, medical health policies (which included limited emotional,psychiatric, drug and sex counseling) had different payment schedules when it came to non-mental health issues. There were tremendous policy limitations to the number of visits per year as well as significantly increased deductibles -- the patient's co-payment for each allowed visit. Oftentimes that priced a visit beyond the means of a patient.

Basically you could see a doctor as many times as you needed for say, kidney stones, liver disease, heart and high blood pressure issues. But if you had anxiety, phobias, psychotic episodes, those were on a different and far more limited schedule. That's now all in the past. Now if you are sick, physically or mentally, you can get the care you need without the fear of using up your visits.

Will this cut down on tragedies like those listed above? Possibly. Until we get guns out of unqualified people's hands we're never going to be without reckless, wanton shootings. But it's about time that drug users and the mentally/emotionally challenged get the same treatment as someone with cancer or pneumonia.

The bottom line, is the Presidents order AND  the Affordable Care Act extend the parity protections for those participating in individual and small group health insurance plans.

The Republicans and gun zealots were blaming the lack of care for the mentally unstable. Hopefully now they'll applaud Obama's actions to provide these people care. If not, when the next gun massacre happens, the public may just revisit sane gun control measures and weapon's registration.

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VIDEO: GOP Rep. Gunn (yes Gunn) invites gunmakers to MS because they're "under attack in anti-2nd Amendment states."

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Gunn on guns

MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

The firearms puns just keep on coming. Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn says he welcomes gunmakers to his state with "open arms." Bygones, but when it comes to connecting Republicans and bad jokes, it's becoming more and more difficult to resist.

But back to Gunn: He feels a little put-upon on behalf of those poor, victimized gun manufacturers, so he's inviting them to relocate to Mississippi where apparently they're pro-Second Amendment... as opposed to other states, see, that are anti-Second Amendment, see.

Yes, in GOP minds like his, if you don't approve of serial massacres of children and other innocents and would like to see common sense safety measures put in place to prevent future ones, you're anti-Second Amendment.

(CNN) -- Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has invited gunmakers such as Colt to relocate to his state from others including Connecticut, where firearms have been a controversial issue since a school shooting there last December left 20 students and six adults dead.

The gun industry in Connecticut is being attacked and "demonized" because of national politics, Gunn said in a letter this week to Colt's Manufacturing Company CEO Dennis Veilleux.

He also invited gunmaker Magpul Industries Corp. of Colorado to relocate to Mississippi. Gunn, a Republican, said firearm manufacturers are "under attack in anti-Second Amendment states."

He's not only a job creator, he's a gun creator!

weeee smaller

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called the proposal "preposterous."

Connecticut residents support the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, "far from demonizing firearms products made here," Blumenthal said in a statement.

"This preposterous pitch to companies with long, successful histories in our state shows the need for national standards and statutes to reduce gun violence," the senator said. "Competition among states for less protective laws is a race to the bottom that should be avoided. The poison of illegal gun trafficking respects no state boundaries and threatens to cause more horrific tragedies like Newtown and the 1,900 gun violence deaths that have occurred since then."

That pretty much says it all. Simply moving business to other locations would not prevent guns from being moved back and forth between states, nor would it prevent gun violence, nor would it protect anyone's constitutional rights (those would be the same constitutional rights that are not being violated, by the way).

So grow up, gun zealots. Face facts. Dip a toe into the real world. Wouldn't that be novel?

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Live Streaming Video- Vice President Joe Biden Speaks on Gun Violence 12:45p EST

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Aurora Shooting Victim Mother Confronts McCain- McCain: "You Need Some Straight Talk"

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straighttalk

What's wrong with a simple, "We're doing everything we can? The "Straight Talk Express" got four flats back in '08 Grampy. Via TPM.

At one point, the mother of Aurora movie shooting victim Alex Teves took the microphone.

“My 24-year-old son Alex was murdered in a movie theater in Colorado,” Caren Teves said. “These assault rifles allow the shooter to fire many rounds without having to re-load. These weapons do not belong on our streets.”

McCain responded by sympathizing with Teves, then addressing her call for a ban on assault rifles.

“I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States,” said Sen. McCain.

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