“Any regulatory change wouldn’t require congressional approval.” That’s the word from the spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), an agency created by the framers of the United States Constitution to fulfill Americans’ constitutional right to health care. Not. One wonders what said Founding Fathers would make of a federal fiat that forces state mental-health authorities to “transmit records of anyone who has been declared mentally unfit by a court or other authority to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” You know; so they can be permanently disqualified from firearms purchases. Without due process. Without an appeals system. Hello? Did I wake up in Soviet Russia this morning? The thing is . . .
Like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (and Really Big Fires) the HHS is an agency that considers the law of the land a relatively minor impediment to their sacred work of protecting the public from disease, death and yes, terrorism. In this case, the HHS is raising a middle finger to the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) of 1996.