Government & Politics

Hillary's Mentally Ill Plan

Clinton's ideas should make us all wary about her ultimate goal.

Lewis Morris · Aug. 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced a comprehensive plan this week to address mental illness, citing the lack of access that people have to quality mental health care and the need to integrate mental health into the national health care system.

Mental illness affects millions of Americans and their families and friends. According to Mental Health America, a nonprofit advocacy group, 57% of adults nationally with mental illness receive no treatment for their condition. There has been a 1.3% increase in youths with severe depression, and 64% of all youths are not receiving any treatment. Furthermore, the federal government claimed in 2014 that one in five adults experienced some form of mental illness the previous year.

Clearly, mental illness is a problem that needs to be addressed. But Clinton’s plan, while seemingly well-meaning on the surface, should make us all wary about its reach and its ultimate goal.

The Clinton mental health plan aims to ensure that those in need of care will receive it so that no one slips through the cracks of our byzantine medical bureaucracy. But folding all those cases into ObamaCare is hardly the right solution. ObamaCare is responsible for building and cementing the byzantine medical bureaucracy we now have. Millions of people have already lost medical insurance coverage and are not receiving care because of the law. How can anyone guarantee with a straight face that adding millions of mental health patients to the system won’t strenuously tax that same system?

Another major item of concern is that the centralization of all this information on the mentally ill gives the federal government reach into the medical history of millions of Americans. And what might they do with this information?

Consider Barack Obama’s January promise to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. He was, and remains perfectly willing to allow health care providers to share information on mentally ill patients with the FBI for its extensive, but pock-marked national database.

Knowing the track record of this administration, and the penchant for the federal government in general to bend the laws to suit a statist agenda, it doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to recognize that allowing health care providers to share this information is only one step away from compelling them to do so.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is supposed to protect the confidentiality and security of a patient’s health care information. Obama’s linking up mental illness to gun control puts HIPAA on shaky ground, because all it would take is a law enforcement action to claim that the police, the FBI, or the ATF should have access to a person’s mental health record. This would lead to a legal challenge that the gun grabbers would likely lose in court, but that depends in which jurisdiction the action takes place and the political leanings of the judge hearing the case. In other words, this is no slam dunk.

Some people with mental health issues could be a danger to themselves and others. No one is arguing that all individuals, regardless of circumstances, should own or operate firearms.

The problem arises in who gets to define who is mentally competent. If the federal government is overseeing the nation’s mental health, as Clinton proposes, then you can bet Washington will insist on having a say in how that definition is crafted and just who falls on which side of the line. Could the Obama administration or, perish the thought, a Hillary Clinton administration use its power to curb Second Amendment rights for people by arbitrarily claiming that they are not mentally competent to own a firearm?

Clinton has already defined a huge swath of the electorate — Trumps core supporters — as racist loons. It’s but one more step to mentally incompetent.

If your kneejerk response to the question is, “No way,” think again. Obama a short time back attempted to strip seniors of their gun rights if they sought financial assistance.

The point here is that the Left has for years attempted to chisel away at our Second Amendment rights, and they have been creative, crafty and sometimes downright belligerent in their efforts. Broadening the definition that finds people unfit to carry firearms is yet another tactic for which they are laying the groundwork, and Clinton’s mental health plan could be an early step in that direction.

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