From The Washington Post, found via Insight Scoop;
By Rob Stein Washington Post Staff WriterFriday, February 27, 2009; 11:41 AM
The Obama administration has begun the process of rescinding sweeping new federal protections that were granted in December to health-care workers who refuse to provide care that violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs. (That didn't take long, did it?)
The Office of Management and Budget announced this morning that it was reviewing a proposal to lift the controversial "conscience" regulation, the first step toward reversing the policy. Once the OMB has reviewed the proposal it will be published in Federal Register for a 30-day public comment period. (See my comment at the end)
"We are proposing rescinding the Bush rule," said an official with the Health and Human Services Department, which drafted the rule change.
The administration took the step because the regulation was so broadly written that it could provide protections to health-care workers who object not only to abortion but also to a wide range of health-care services, said the HHS official, who asked not to be named because the process had just begun. (What horseshit!)
"We've been concerned that the way the Bush rule is written it could make it harder for women to get the care they need. It is worded so vaguely that some have argued it could limit family planning counseling and even potentially blood transfusions and end-of-life care," the official said. (Hey genius, healthcare is still a for profit enterprise. At least until it gets run by the government. That means the less services offered, the less profit. This is what makes following your conscience more difficult that picking out what color shoes to wear in the morning. If these "services" are no longer offered it would be indicative of a major sea change in our culture. You'd probably find the demand for such "services" long gone before ALL the health care professionals give them up.)
After the 30-day comment period, the regulation could be lifted entirely or it could be modified to make the protections more specific, the official said. (Folks, keep those cards and letters coming!)
"We support a tightly written conscience clause. We recognize and understand that some providers have objections about abortion, and we want to make sure that current law protects them," the official said. "We want to be thoughtful about this." (I'll just bet!)
The new rule empowers the federal government to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable.
The Bush administration adopted the rule at the urging of conservative groups, abortion opponents and others in order to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways. (Some might refer to it as safeguarding someone's freedom of choice. That term can be used for purposes other than baby killing.)
Women's health advocates, family planning proponents, abortion rights activists and others (the usual suspects) condemned the regulation, saying it would create a major obstacle to providing many health services, including family planning, infertility treatment and end-of-life care, (all of which might be found objectionable by devout Catholic health care workers) as well as possibly a wide range of scientific research. (Like what? Embryonic stem cell research?)
The move marks the latest challenge to the Obama administration's attempt to find more of middle ground on issues related to abortion. (Doublespeak at it's finest. How do you find "middle ground" on killing children?) President Obama has said repeatedly he hopes those on both sides of the issue can work to reduce the number of abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies and by offering support to women who do get pregnant and want to continue their pregnancies.
That approach has already been tested. Obama angered abortion opponents when he lifted restrictions on federal funding for international family planning groups that promote abortion. (Yeah, that showed a hell of a lot of effort towards reaching "middle ground". He did it on a Friday afternoon, after working hours with no press present. Sneaky twerp.)
The next closely watched decision will be whether Obama lifts federal restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. (Something to look forward to, now where in hell did I put my rosary?)
Well, the OMB hasn't reviewed the regulation yet. But the old webpage for it can be found here; http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&d=HHS-OS-2008-0011-4155 . I've posted it with the thought that someone else will be following it and may pick up on it if I miss it (unfortunately I don't live online.) Once the OMB has published their review for comment, I'll follow up on this. Remember folks, the bastards work for us but they only respond to the voices they hear. Lets have ours be heard.
Friday, February 27, 2009
From The Washington Post, found via Insight Scoop;