Thursday, August 1, 2019

If Trump Gets Another 4 Years: Look For Religious Control Of Your Health Care

Many of the delirious and drowning in denial will insist it can't happen.  But if Trump is re-elected we could see a  Reich wing, religiously- dictated health care system.  Impossible, you say? Not if he can then tilt the Supreme Court even further Right, via a 6-3 or even 7-2 majority.  Then look for a miscast "religious liberty" on steroids.  Try to conceive, my friends, of the Court bending over even further backwards to allow and enable disdain of patients, say beyond providing artificial contraception. (Which is already happening now with push back the ACA rules).   See e.g.

'Little Sisters of the Poor' Need an Education In ... - Brane Space

What would a fully religious health system, implemented with the help of extremist Catholics and Trump's Religious Right allies and fanatics look like? According to the recent article 'Bad Medicine" appearing in Church & State (July-August, p. 9):

- An ambulance driver could refuse to transport a woman with an ectopic pregnancy

- A receptionist could turn an interfaith couple away seeking fertility treatment

- A nurse could withdraw information about HIV treatment

- A paramedic could refuse to help a woman who's fallen in her home because she's Jewish

Each of the above scenarios is possible under the Trump Administration's new 'Denial Of Care Rule', public health advocates warn.   Other potential denials not listed in the piece but fully consistent with a denial policy include:

- A young woman suffering from endometriosis denied artificial contraception meds which could rectify and ameliorate her condition.

- A prostate cancer patient -  say who's an atheist or homeless (or both) - could be deprived of hormone therapies (e.g. via meds, drugs like Lupron, Casodex - which are expensive) and be forced to undergo orchiectomy instead. (Full physical castration).

  According to Americans' United President and CEO Rachel Laser quoted in the piece:

"This is the Trump administration's most dangerous attempt yet to weaponize religious freedom, and we won't stand for it."

Well, I certainly hope not!  BUT if Trump somehow sneaks in again - using the Electoral college- there will be very little anyone can do if he stacks the Supreme Court to issue even more draconian rulings.

So we are clear on the rule's provisions, it "invites any health care worker - including doctors, nurses, paramedics, administrators and even clerical staff- to deny medical treatment and services to patients because of personal religious or moral belies."


"The vaguely worded rule sets no limits on what constitutes a religious or moral refusal, even in life and death situations".

So technically, such medical staff - if they knew I was an atheist - could deny me life -saving care.  Say if the only hospital I was able to get to was a Catholic one.   Well, what if such a hospital were to thumb its nose at the Trumpie imperialists and deliver care anyway? Well then under the law's provisions, they could lose federal funding.

As Ms. Laser puts it (ibid.):

"It is clear that women, LGBTQ people and religious minorities are the intended targets, but it doesn't stop there. The rule is so broad that everyone - including sick children, pregnant women and senior citizens - is at risk."

Particularly abhorrent is the "conscience rights" aspect of this misbegotten rule.  I.e. if a religious medical provider's "conscience" is upset by the prospect of treating a Jew or atheist, or LGBTQ person, he can rightfully avoid doing so.  As articulated by Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles   LGBT Rights Center (ibid.):

"This so-called conscience rights rule is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to codify discrimination against LGBT people, among others.  It eliminates critical health care protections and puts millions of lives at risk.  Moreover it is a clear violation of civil rights laws.:"

Well, we already know what the Supreme Court did to the Voting Rights Act, don't we? So again, if the Court is stacked even further by Trump that response provides little in the way of comfort. What we do know is that if this outrageous rule is implemented - and again, I'd expect a very good chance if Trump gets re-elected- then it will exacerbate health care access for a wide swatch of citizens, from young women seeking abortions, to LGBTQ folks, to those living with HIV.

Again, people would be wise not to dismiss the consequences, given a number of real life incidents have already been reported.  These would be given full license should the rule become law. For example. (p. 11):

-  A transgender woman who needed an ultrasound for a cancer screening but was denied by a technician who also openly mocked her.

-   A man who called emergency services when he feared he was having a heart attack but the EMS team then refused to transport him and belittled him on learning he was gay.

These are bound to increase exponentially if Trump's Denial Rule" is made the law of the land. Worse, the remnants of Obamacare could be gone at the same time, (E.g. 'Court Signals Peril For Health Law', WSJ,  p. A4, July 10) wherein we learn:

"This is a case that could cause millions of Americans to lose health coverage and have deep political implications next year." 

This is traced to the 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans expressing "skepticism' that the ACA is constitutional - which will almost certainly send the case before them to the Supreme Court. Are you confident that the ACA will be upheld with Brett Kavanagh and his sidekick Neil Gorsuch on the Court? I'm not!

Don't wish to see it? Then we have to ensure the reprehensible human rat :
Image result for Trump as a rat images
doesn't get a second term!

Dems, you better damned well not blow it!  Voters, you better not either!

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