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  • Morning Bell: Protecting Freedom for Health Care Providers

    Religious institutions have long been an essential part of health care delivery in our nation. Long before government programs began monopolizing the health care industry, religious institutions were providing care to the poor and most vulnerable. Today, Catholic health care facilities alone make up a third of the nation’s hospitals. As the federal government has encroached further and further into health care decision making, religious freedom advocates have passed a number of laws designed to protect the consciences of health care providers. But these laws have rarely been enforced.

    Seeking to better end discrimination against health care providers who object to participating in controversial medical procedures, the Bush Administration issued a regulation intended to increase awareness among health care professionals of their rights, finally assign proper enforcement responsibility within HHS, and bring needed clarity to laws that have essentially been gathering dust for decades.

    Just five weeks into his presidency, the Obama Administration officially signaled their intention to rescind this regulation. An Obama HHS official explained to the Washington Post:  “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.” But as Heritage fellow Randy Pate argues the regulation clarified the law for the first time and assigned an enforcement home within HHS. Pate continues:

    [T]he proposed rescission would do away with the progress that has been made and replace it with nothing. Because the conscience protection laws themselves aren’t going away, rescinding the regulation would result in real ambiguity and confusion. … Why rush to roll back conscience protections for health care professionals? If the Obama Administration is genuinely concerned about potential confusion here—rather than just pandering to the extreme pro-abortion lobby—the proper course is to let the regulations operate for a while and see what happens. Instead, the proposed rescission is an attempt to impose a “gag rule” that prevents meaningful enforcement of conscience laws and leaves health care professionals in the dark about their rights.

    The head of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations David Stevens went even further, telling the Washington Post: “It is open season to again discriminate against health-care professionals. Our Founding Fathers, who bled and died to guarantee our religious freedom, are turning over in their graves.”

    Federal law requires the Obama Administration to solicit comments from the American people and substantively respond to them before any regulation can attain the force of law. You can contact the Department of Health and Human Services and let them know how you feel about Obama’s destruction of the conscience clause here at A Doctor’s Right. You have until April 9, to have your voice heard.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    29 Responses to Morning Bell: Protecting Freedom for Health Care Providers

    1. Javier Salazar Miam says:

      All I can say is "God Bless the United States of America." This country is undergoing radical, leftist, and destructive changes.

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      The ONLY reason there are Religious Hospitals is

      TO MAKE $$$$

      If the Cs REALLY cared for women

      they would NOT try to get LAWS Passed

      to MAKE THEM DO THINGS

      THEY MIGHT NOT WANT TO DO.

      The Cs say -

      they want LESS Govt

      EXCEPT THEY WANT TO PASS LAWS

      THAT MAKE US ALL FOLLOW

      THEIR BELIEFS.

      NOT GOOD.

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    3. ROBERT DAVIS says:

      REPUBLICANS NEED TO GET SOME SMARTER SPEAKERS FOR THEIR SIDE. THEY CANNOT EVER EXPLAIN ANYTHING THAT MAKES SENSE TO THE ORDINARY PERSON. FOR EXAMPLE THEY COULD PROPOSE STOPPING ALL WITHOLDING TAXES FOR 6 MONTHS TO GET MONEY INTO THE PRIVATE ECONOMY. THE ORDINARY PERSON UNDERSTANDS THAT. CAPITAL GAINS AND LOWERING TAX RATES HAS NO APPEAL TO ORDINARY FOLKS.

    4. mike baker Dallas Ce says:

      The rights those people can't subvert, right away, can just be buried for now. Next, expect them to hide, then subvert the rights won in the Communication Workers of America case.

    5. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      It seems that every day in every way, Obama and his cadre attack and seek to replace American Rights and Freedoms.

      Instead of striving to perfect the most wonderful Country the world has ever seen, they think it better to destroy it and replace it with Socialism, a Godless Obamination!

      People who think are having to suffer the "slings and arrows of fools".

    6. Larry Sigurdson, Sal says:

      The Obama Administration is placating its Pro Abortion, Democratic Party base. These are the people who demand abortion at all costs-including forcing religious health caregivers to perform an abortion, even if it against their faith and policies, and, even if there are no federal dollars involved.

      Abortion here, abortion there, abortion everywhere, for everyone. You don't understand: The only people who have any rights are the pro-abortion people. They won the election and now they are doing what they want.

      If we are to survive these insane times we must fight against these things everyday-ever vigilant. Otherwise, individual freedom and liberty will go the way of the Dodo bird.

    7. John Rosina, Bordent says:

      HF – Thanks for the heads up! I think

      Ken Jarvis' post may have a point and I think Religion based Churches also need to consider what business they are in and whether the Law of the Land conflicts with their moral views.

      I say this with great respect for the many services they otherwise provide.

      and for…..Larry Sigurdson, Salem, OR writes:

      "The Obama Administration is placating its Pro Abortion, Democratic Party base."

      Wrong: you would be more succint if you included "and pro-Abortion republicans and independents. Check the polls.

      Larry: "You don’t understand: The only people who have any rights are the pro-abortion people.

      Incorrect again: You have the unmitigated right to have children.

      If you find my criticism incorrect, then you did not presnt your full meaning in the second case and were just ranting in the first!

    8. Richard says:

      I guess a doctor doesn't have any "civil rights".

    9. D.Schulz, Washington says:

      What about the oath they took when they became doctors…do no harm. Shouldn't that include all the patient, including the mother?

    10. D.Schulz, Washington says:

      Why is heritage getting involved in this anyway?

    11. Ireland says:

      Living in the South, every single hospital are religious ones, so these plans forcing a doctor to go against his religious and moral believes have no rights. All the hospitals have said they will close their doors if forced to participate in this health care policy.

      I don't care if you want an abortion and rename it a D&C for health insurance purposes. They are mostly liberals who abort so we are saving ourselves future. I think its morally wrong to kill something with a beating heart. But the enforcement of a policy that goes against their religious and moral beliefs is wronng.

    12. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      Retro-active taxes on AIG bonus'. Do as I say health care. No bill passes without it being read. Bring down the national deficit. Change. Seems like change is the only promise he has kept. I remember Reagan talking about the Russians, and if memory serves me correctly, Obama might as well be Lenin. I am a Reagan baby. He is the first president that I was old enough to remember and understand what was going on. I remember the threat of nuclear war and being told what the enemy was like and why it was wrong. Everything I "see" Obama DOING is what we were willing to go to war over. What the hell is wrong with americans?

    13. pontesisto says:

      If you would like to help pressure Congress to pass Single Payer Health Care please join our voting bloc at:
      http://www.votingbloc.org/Health_Bloc.php

    14. Wallyblu, Zion, IL says:

      The Liberals better think about what they wish for.

      They way they are going it wouldn't surprise me to see them lose control of congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012. Then all these draconian rules and ideas they think only affect conservatives could be used against them.

      "Be careful of what you wish for you might just get it."

    15. Nelia, Fountain Hill says:

      Obama's agenda focuses on change, but change for the sake of change, simply because the matter was a past administration's program, is sick, especially since the matter in question is still working fine.

      The only way we can stop this crazy surge toward tyranny is with a united Republican Party, but that is a remote possibility considering the lack of leadership qualities and agenda of our newly elected RNC Chairman.

    16. Pingback: Speak Out For Freedom Of Conscience « Justbkuz

    17. mike, hickory, nc says:

      Do you actually imagine that "contact(ing) the Department of Health and Human Services and let(ting) them know how (we) feel about Obama’s destruction of the conscience clause at 'A Doctor’s Right'…to have (our) voice(s) heard", or any other such efforts to "make our voices heard" will stop such Leftist government elitists and statists, who are so hostile against our Constitutional rights and freedoms, from robbing us and taking them away from us?

      As such government elitist and statist despots and demagogues have repeatedly shown and proven throughout history, and continue to do so today, that's like "trying to make your voice heard" with "Please, mr. and ms. power and money-grabbing street thugs and robbers, please stop mugging us and robbing us of our Constitutional freedoms and resources!", and actually expecting such of what they so arrogantly and contemptuously consider and respond to as dumb bleating to stop them!

      Yes, it’s another case of "like lambs to the slaughter".

      However, we brought it on ourselves through such as the elections of government elitist and statist Democrats and RIPO's (Republicans In Party Only) in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

      Now let's all "wake up and smell the coffee", as the saying goes, and come back to the real world!

      The real world fact is that, especially since, and as a consequence of, "election '08", the Leftist government elitists and statists not only actually believe that "election '08" is their "mandate" to "put the pedal to the metal" and, just like Rahm Emanuel's "Never let a crisis go to waste…it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before", use everything they can, including the manipulation and even fabrication of any "crisis", to race the remaining way into converting the United States into a Socialist state.

      Then how can we really stop them?

      Well the only way we can really stop them is through the next two elections (2010 and 2012), and they know it.

      So, until then, every American will pay the consequences of such as "election '08" through the very much accelerated loss of freedoms, resources, and security, many and much of which may never be recovered, and we have to hope that enough of us will learn enough from that repeated lesson of history to throw such Leftists out of office in 2010 and 2012.

      That's it…that's the bottom line.

    18. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Having worked in clinical settings, I've never known a physician or other provider being forced to perform a non-emergent procedure counter to their better judgement and/or conscience.

    19. John Rosina, Bordent says:

      Jamey – You make a lot of sense. I offer this in the spirit of free exchange.

      Are you social! It is not always a bad term. A social conscience is a good thing. In terms of our beloved country, I find too much socialism wrong, too much freedom with no legal accountability corruptive, too much public intrusion by religion dangerous and Unconstitutional. My Grandmother always said all things in moderation. I date back to Truman.

      My take on America's economic woes today lie squarely on the shoulders of the Global exploitations of our once very robust US industry leaders’ and it has been abetted by the incompetent Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in our Federal Government.

      As one example, G.M., Ford and Chrysler began sending the profits the WWII generation made for them into ever growing concerns over seas. If memory serves, GM invested $8 billion in China in the Reagan era. Although I think he could never have foreseen the damage that unfettered deregulation would place on our economy, President Reagan must share the blame for today’s condition. Trickle down Reagonomics have led to a 14% decrease in the average working person's income (adjusted for inflation) since the heavy migration of US soil by our companies.

      All the monstrous wealth our industrial and technological engine could produce was stripped off the top and shipped overseas for a cheap labor and no benefits work force. Trade advantages were heaped upon those countries by each succeeding President. It is Congresses job to approve Trade Agreements, but they have given over that power to the President. It's called "FAST TRACKING" of trade agreements. If you are ever to find a chronic weakness in Presidents of all stripes, start by looking at their feeble and UN-Fair Trade Agreements. The companies win on either side of the ocean and it is only America’s working class that becomes the losers. I wish the rabid “anti-Union” public would learn this one lesson!

      For the public to think America's problems are a conservative or a liberal problem just plays into the US Corporate/Political cabal.

      Old saw – "I have seen the enemy and it is us". More appropriate today would be – "I have seen the enemy – give me a beer!"

      PS – I suggest we all support the HF and others who speak to all sides of issues with their degree of integrity. I find them all to be right sometime, wrong sometimes. But too few offer robust discussion. Heritage is one of those with that courage. And Congressman Ron Paul is always a great check for us all on all things Constitutional. I admire him even when I don't want to hear what he is saying. He is a Great American Patriot, Physician and Veteran who leads by example.

      We are in this together. United we Stand – Divided we fail!

    20. Joel Williams, Norcr says:

      The Obama Administration is rushing headlong to get much of its liberal agenda passed before the campaign lies catch up and his popularity wanes, which it will and soon. Two issues high on the administration's list, and which threaten our rights, are Illegal Immigration and Gun Control.

      Obama may not risk the political battle just yet that would ensue over illegal immigration, but make no mistake he wants amnesty – translated Mexican votes. He's going to get pressure from Dems in tightly contested races in heavily Mexican districts to move on such legislation soon. One way or another Illegal Immigration is going to be on his agenda sooner rather than later.

      Obama surrogates are already making the same old tired arguments for reinstating the assault weapons ban. This time the foolish argument is being made that reinstating the band would stem the flow of such arms to the drug lords in Mexico. In the face of real statistics pointing to increased crime in every instance where the public's right to bear arms is limited, the Dems continue to press the argument for gun control.

      We must remain vigilant and fight to protect our ever dwindling constitutional rights.

      Joel Williams
      http://www.opinionsbyme.com

    21. Chris, Western Wi. says:

      Another example of the Godless, degenerate, despicable liberal "clown posse" in charge of this government at this time. Normal citizens of this country will send this current group of vermin packing in a very short time…have faith!

    22. John Rosina, Bordent says:

      NC Mike – my old friend, I just typed out your post today. My keypad melted.

      I typed it backwards, hoping it would be clearer. Oddly enough I found out that the Beatles Paul McCartney is a dead ringer for himself.

      You signature phrase "Leftist government elitists and statists" becomes –

      "stsitats dna stsiltile, tnemnrevog tsitfel" when reversed. I think its time you define the many types of "ists" in your lists.

      And I randomly used your letters and came up with WAR and PEACE.

      I support freedom of speech 100%. Sometimes less is more!

    23. Roger R. Collins Uni says:

      I have no doubt that Universal Health Care can work. First, we encourage abortion to limit the number of new patients. Second, we limit the healthcare to the elderly. They will die earlier saving costs. Third, we run the private medical enterprises out of business. Fourth, limit access as they do in all other Universal Healthcare countries. Do we really need $650B down payment to do this? Seems like a few Executive Orders, or as I like to call them Royal Proclamations, should do the job pretty quickly.

    24. mike, hickory, nc says:

      Jamey, Central CA

      You are 100% right right about that!

      In fact, 1972 was the first Presidential election I voted in at 18 and although it was for Nixon, if nothing else that 1 vote was 1 vote more, along with most others, toward helping us prevent McGovern from having us end-up learning how to speak Russian in short order; in 1976 my vote, along with many others, wasn't enough to prevent Carter from going too far in that direction, wreck the economy, and (I remember word-for-word) blame the American people for it on nation-wide television.

      But 1980 and 1984 were as if enough Americans had learned their lesson about Leftist Presidential candidates, if not Congressional candidates, as most of us helped Ronald Reagan bury Carter and then Mondale in "a landslide" both times, despite the the efforts of even the media which had even me thinking they had Carter practically re-elected and Mondale elected. Nevertheless, thank goodness, Ronald Reagon won anway.

      However, ever since the election of 1988, while the Democrats have been practically unrelenting for their Leftist government elitist and statist agenda, especially since FDR, and considering the "dirty little secret" of RNC leadership opposition against Reagan and fellow Conservatives (which was and is at least that "agreeable" to the Left, but which both most Americans and Reagain overcame at least in his case), both Parties have managed to make elections 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 "choices between the lesser of 2 evils", to the point now where in both Parties we have an all too similar sort of Lenins in office and controlling such as (but not limited to) both Congress and the White House. That makes each of any true Conservative Republicans very much like "A voice. calling in the wilderness" right now.

      It is truly enough to drive you, me, and countless Americans, and even our allies around the world to asking "What is wrong with Americans?

      Indeed now, unfortunately, it is being proven too unfortunately true that both the Left's government elitist agenda, and the fact that they are in such a hurry to "ram it through" before people see that they will even break their own rules among themselves and break their promises to us to give themselves and us days, and longer, to see the provisions in their legislation before they vote on it, that. unfortunately for us, the people, they are thus indeed goiong about proving true the saying that "The damage done in haste is soon also not possible to undo".

      We would do good to stop them, for not only the sake of our freedoms, resources, and security, but also the sake of those millions who would ever stay here, and those who would come here, and so altogether for the sake of our place as "The last, best hope of mankind" as Ronald Reagan sain. Why? Becuase after us, disagree with this or not, the fact is there will be no other place to go for such freesoms, resources, and security.

    25. mike, hickory, nc says:

      Please excuse the typos in my comment agreeing with Jamey, Central CA.

      It was late at night, I was tired, and my eyes were evidently trying to say so as they missed some typos and I hit "submit"

    26. bill coke, dallas, t says:

      I'm confused. I understand the concerns of healthcare costs, but we are going to overhaul the system to lower costs by spending billions. Billions we don't have. nutty or not I guess I can grasp the desire to improve, but where is all of this money that healthcare currently costs going? Is it providing Americans jobs? It would seem that most of this money at least stays in America and provides some jobs. The computerizing of records sounds like it moves employment from middle income to higher income technology jobs and thats assuming those jobs won't leave the country. This in a time that it would seem that the first priority is jobs. I still can't help but believe that the main question is still "how much are we willing to spend on healthcare". Are we going to lower healthcare costs so we have more to spend on cell phones and flat screen TVs. It just seems we are missing the big question so we can argue about the details. If we really want to reform healthcare we must allow freemarkets to work and that means we must allow doctors and hospitals to compete in an open market and we must recognize that health insurance demonstrates the failure of the socialist economic model where the whole premise is based on somebody else paying for our cancer treatments. There would be no reason to buy insurance if we didn't think we would get a lot more out of it than what we put in. And it seems to me that the healthcare debate is really about equal access to technology, as that is what medicine is today. Otherwise we would be arguing about the high cost of bloodletting. Are we going to argue for internet access to everyone? Cell phones? Laptops? And given that healthcare technology is primarily about extending lifespans ever further, how many years will our new government be obligated to take us? 80? 90? 110? Or is it really only about making policies that make us feel better about ourselves, without much real concern about actual results. I suppose if reform results in a collapse of medical technology, then all is well, because equal access is preserved, regardless if actual healthcare quality declines. Would anyone suggest that we would have todays costs if we were still using 1950's technology? I'm not sure of the answer, but I know there are a lot of issues that I don't hear a lot about in the discussion.

    27. Pingback: » Dereliction of duty: The Catholic Health Association - Blogger News Network

    28. Paul says:

      Wake up people. we joyed over the Communist collapse in the Soviet Union. (did they really collapse?) Guess what they are doing now. watching the collapse of the U.S. of A. Let's pray that a Jefferson or Washington comes along and Saves us.

    29. Pingback: The 10 Things You Need to Know About Conscience Protection | CatherineFavazza.com

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