White House: ObamaCare can help stop gun violence

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White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday said the GOP’s 2016 presidential field could help fight gun violence by pushing for the expansion of Medicaid.

“We have heard [Republican White House] candidates talk about an openness to work with the administration on gun violence,” he told reporters during the White House’s daily press briefing.

{mosads}“Many of them talk about improving mental healthcare,” Earnest said. “One of the biggest providers of mental healthcare — especially in disadvantaged communities — is Medicaid.

“For those who say they want to work with the administration in limiting gun violence, we would welcome the support for the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid.”

Earnest’s remarks follow last week’s mass shooting at an Oregon community college that killed nine people and wounded nine others.

He praised Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton for promising executive action on firearms control last week in the incident’s wake.

“We would welcome contributions from a voice that prominent in the debate trying to have that discussion,” Earnest said.

Earnest admitted that President Obama is weighing his own executive action on gun regulations following the Oct. 1 shooting at Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Roseburg, Ore.

“The president’s domestic policy council obviously plays an important role in these matters,” he said. “There are lawyers involved in this matter as well.

“I don’t have a timeline for if or when any specific executive actions may be implemented,” Earnest added.

“The progress we have made making executive actions is not as important as the progress that could be made if Congress took significant steps.”

Last week’s bloodshed is sparking new national debate over gun-control regulations heading into the 2016 presidential election cycle.

Christopher Harper Mercer, 26, allegedly opened fire on UCC students after interrogating them about their religion during the attack.

Several Republican White House hopefuls have called for increased mental health awareness and services in the wake of the attack.

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump has repeatedly argued improving mental healthcare will make a greater difference than tighter gun restrictions.

Tags 2016 Arkansas Barack Obama campaigns Crime D.C. D.C. Donald Trump Firearms GOP gun violence Hillary Clinton Josh Earnest Medicaid Mike Huckabee New York ObamaCare Oregon Politics regulations Republicans Roseburg United States Washington Washington
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