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Not to be a wet blanket but . . .

Sadly, when I first read this:

Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays

my first reaction was suspicion rather than elation.

President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients’ choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.

As with any Obama policy or proposal you have to look for the loopholes. The first one is a biggie: While the proposed rule would apply to any hospital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding (which is the vast majority of them) it would not apply to military or VA hospitals.

The next loophole is also huge:

Obama’s order will start a rule-making process at HHS that could take several months, officials said.

How long is “several months?” Remember when Obama ordered that Gitmo be closed in a year??

What exactly will these new rules say? How will “same-sex partners” be defined? How will this apply in states that don’t permit gay marriage or domestic partnerships? How will this affect someone who is rendered unconscious or incapacitated from a stroke or accident and didn’t predesignate their LGBT partner as a visitor or give them a medical power of attorney?

Without a properly executed medical power of attorney will state laws on next-of-kin still apply?

What about religious hospitals?

I’m curious to see how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reacts to this executive order. I don’t know whether Catholic hospitals are more likely to have rules in place preventing visitation by gay or lesbian partners, but I would expect religious conservatives to complain about the government nullifying such rules. I wonder whether there is even grounds to challenge Obama’s order in court, if hospitals could demonstrate that their visitation bans are grounded in religious principles.

I’m also suspicious of how the story about these proposed new rules was publicized. No speech, no formal announcement, just an emailed memo while Obama jets off to another fundraiser. Not exactly bold leadership by a “fierce advocate” of LGBT rights.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in equal rights for lesbians and gays and the end of discrimination against them. But I’m not ready to celebrate this announcement just yet.

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40 Responses

  1. If he believes this is the right thing to do, not just politically, and if the memo truly grants new rights, which is not yet clear, why didn’t he draft and send it during his first month in office.

  2. “would not apply to military or VA hospitals”

    Even if it did, if they or their partner is still active, wouldn’t that get them tossed what with the non-repeal of DADA and all?

  3. Desperately mouthing talking points to the left, then the right. Willy nilly. My confidence is restored. Not. Gawd. I’m so cynical these days. Why?

  4. Well, that’s the best compliment I’ve heard in a long time. : )

  5. Ta da!

  6. He started the process to overturn the Bush Conscience rules.

    http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=090000648090229f

  7. I share you suspicion of anything Obama does, even if it looks good. You can always find the loopholes if you look.

    It astonishes me that the corporate progressives (HuffPo, Kos, et al.) can’t perceive that Obama is their mortal enemy. Events have made it clear that everything this administration does is designed to hurt or dupe progressives. He’s already got them singing the praises of a Hertiage Foundation law, offshore drilling, nuclear power–you name it.

    • Hence the “corporate”…Cme on, Perry, Huffington and Kos are two former Republicans who have made boat loads of money riding Obama’s wave, why do you call them “mortal enemies”?

  8. I know. I saw the headline in both propaganda papers this morning and scratched my head. But check the prayer day item – to make the other guys happy too
    Tabloids today

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/tabloids-volcano-mars-and-prayer-day/

  9. WTF?

    The White House ripped CBS News on Thursday for publishing an online column by a blogger who made assertions about the sexual orientation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan, widely viewed as a leading candidate for the Supreme Court.

    Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer, wrote that President Obama would “please” much of his base by picking the “first openly gay justice.” An administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing personal matters, said Kagan is not a lesbian.

    CBS initially refused to pull the posting, prompting Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director who is working with the administration on the high court vacancy, to say: “The fact that they’ve chosen to become enablers of people posting lies on their site tells us where the journalistic standards of CBS are in 2010.” She said the network was giving a platform to a blogger “with a history of plagiarism” who was “applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers.”

    The network deleted the posting Thursday night after Domenech said he was merely repeating a rumor. The flare-up underscores how quickly the battle over a Supreme Court nominee — or even a potential nominee — can turn searingly personal. Most major news organizations have policies against “outing” gays or reporting on the sex lives of public officials unless they are related to their public duties.

    A White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said he complained to CBS because the column “made false charges.” Domenech later added an update to the post: “I have to correct my text here to say that Kagan is apparently still closeted — odd, because her female partner is rather well known in Harvard circles.”

    “It ain’t nobody’s business” would be a more encouraging response from the Oval Orifice. They’re acting like being a lesbian is a bad thing.

    • Did this happen before or after they decided to e-mail the memo about visitation rights?

    • Again the Oval Orifice manages to come across as fools, or worse. Makes you wonder if a Scotus appointment should be the business of the media or the public at all. It is the one branch where all its members are not elected. Of course it should concern us and the public has a right to make its voice heard, but it’s easy to become skeptical of the stupid pundit media being too influential. Don’t understand why BO needs to make this a six month drawn out process.

      • mmmm…. maybe picking a Scotus Justice is alot like picking a puppy

      • its stiill beyond me we people thiink they have the right to tell the LGBT what they can do in there own peronal lives . and to me it seems most of these folks are always quoteing the constitution.
        i guess they forgot that part were it says all men are crated equal.

    • “false charges” says it all.

    • The good old “repeating a rumor” excuse for slander and scandal-mongering.

      Takes me back to the 1990s.

    • He’s always politicking–his eye always on his next election cycle. He doesn’t want to alienate those religious conservatives that put him over the line last time, ya know! Playing to both audiences with vague pronouncements and no clear convictions is his specialty.

    • The network deleted the posting Thursday night after Domenech said he was merely repeating a rumor.

      He was MERELY repeating a RUMOR :) That’s our media today.

  10. ***…all men are crated equal.***

    Sometimes I’m tempted to crate most men (and some women) equally…..

    Seriously, though, “all men are created equal.” Big whoop. Where does that leave women? Unequal, as “men” is not a generic. Go into a room with women and men in it, say “All men raise your hands”, and see how many women raise their hands.

  11. OK, I went to Bobotland to find out what the token left GLBT thinks of it

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=102&topic_id=4345286&mesg_id=4345765

    105. Great, another grand gesture that really does not mean shit.

    Edited on Fri Apr-16-10 08:14 AM by Raster
    Because we gays just love those grand gestures. :sarcasm: It’s still “separate but equal,” which as we all know, is NOT EQUAL. It’s just a small bone to throw to the LGBT citizens. It sounds good, but in reality, how enforceable is it? Does it really address the law?
    And all you nice straight folks out there just giddy over this “token acknowledgment” of us Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered persons as full citizens with full rights: what if the shoe were on the other foot?

    “This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.”

  12. […] At The Confluence, MIQ2xu reinforced my own suspicions […]

  13. More HCR “revelations”

    WASHINGTON — It’s an eagerly awaited early benefit of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul: affordable coverage for Americans with medical problems who can’t get a private insurer to even take a look.

    Starting in July, a special high-risk pool will offer coverage to uninsured people with pre-existing health conditions at a cost similar to what everyone else pays. It’s the first test of whether the administration can deliver on Obama’s vision within the budget Congress set.

    But some vulnerable patients are probably going to feel a little cheated.
    […]
    That means some 200,000 patients now enrolled in more than 30 state high-risk insurance pools will be stuck paying higher premiums. Many are on tight budgets, drawing down their savings and borrowing from family members.

  14. He’s going to put out more and more of these gestures as we near elections and the bobot media will cheer him on just as they did with the insurance company bail out bill. Theater for the masses. Get the popcorn ready.

  15. Here’s the NY Times piece on it. It has no teeth, like everything else he does. Can you imagine what kind of crap he is going to start to pull as 2012 approaches?!

    Obama Widens Medical Rights for Same-Sex Partners

    Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton on gay rights issues, said that while the memorandum on its own did not grant any new rights, it did “draw attention to the very real and tragic situations many gays and lesbians face when a partner is hospitalized.”

    The rules will take time to draft and put in place, and so Mr. Obama’s order will have no immediate effect. Even so, gay rights groups called it a major advance for the families of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender individuals.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/us/politics/16webhosp.html?ref=todayspaper

    • p.s. It’s sad that the gay rights crowd repeatedly falls for the “we’ll take crumbs, because we have no place else to go” mentality that many women and Dems have fallen for. How about being loyal to your principles first, ever think of that?

  16. He’s trying to re-open the GayTM.

    It has been clear since the Donnie McClurkin incident in October 2007 exactly where Obama stands on LGBTs and LGBT issues. Any LGBT who chose to ignore or shrug off Obama’s association with an advocate of the “ex-gay” movement and continued to shrug off or ignore his association with Rick Warren and others of his stripe was willingly self-deluded. I’m glad some of them are coming out of the Kool-Aid fog. They may turn out to be the bitterest knitters of all.

  17. Here’s the latest in clown news… if this had been a California newspaper I would have wondered… LOL…

    Evil Clown hired for stalking, threats and a pie in the face. An ‘evil’ clown who stalks and threatens kids is being hired by parents as a birthday treat. http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/821591-evil-clown-hired-for-stalking-threats-and-a-pie-in-the-face

  18. Christian music star Jennifer Knapp comes back and comes out Laughing
    Atta girl, live your life, God will love ya and your mama too, your family…all of us here too. :-)

    Sing Alleluia – Jennifer Knapp and Mac Powell

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