The Second Amendment, Taxes, And Gun Control

The Second Amendment, Taxes, And Gun Control

Active shooter taking gun in classroom ready for mass school shooting. getty Americans may be divided over the necessity and efficacy of gun control, but it is hard for anyone to deny that the healthcare costs for victims of gun violence are substantial. State and local governments must spend a significant amount of tax dollars for law enforcement, ambulance services, and more, which can cut deeply into the budget and leave less money for other important government services. When a state or locality proposes a new tax on firearms and ammunition to recoup some of the costs resulting from gun violence, the opposition argues the measure constitutes a violation of the Second Amendment. The question is whether that is true. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office released in June, the initial hospital costs for those who suffered a firearm injury topped $1 billion in 2019. Fifty percent of those costs, the GAO reported, were borne by Medicaid. Yet the initial hospital costs for shooting victims are not the entire story. The report acknowledges that the costs increase when other, external expenses associated with firearm injuries are accounted for; however, data on these additional costs were unavailable. The report identifies such costs to include physician fees for inpatient care, which are billed separately from hospital charges, and the costs associated with post-discharge care. These include behavioral health services for victims and those affected by the incident, including family members and other witnesses; skilled nursing facilities or home […]

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