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The End of
Religious-Based Health Restrictions?

The End of
Religious-Based Health Restrictions?


Obama may be rescinding a disastrous health policy the Bush administration tried to impose in December allowing health care officials to refuse treatment based on religious beliefs.

A nasty health regulation that the Bush administration tried to impose before bolting from the White House may be rescinded by the Obama administration.

Dubbed the "conscience" rule when issued in December, it effectively allowed receptionists, insurance claims managers, and other people marginally related to the health care industry to refuse to provide information, referrals, and other care based on their religious or moral beliefs.

The regulation lets the government cut off funding to health care providers that do not allow their employees to abstain from work they find objectionable.

The "conscience" rule came at the urging of conservatives and was considered a substantial victory for the pro-life movement.

"We are proposing rescinding the Bush rule," said a Health and Human Services department official in a Washington Post interview.

Transgender activists hailed the decision. Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, noted that killing this regulation is very important since trans men and women face an inordinate amount of hostility and discrimination in hospitals and doctors' offices.

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