Proposed federal regulatory changes to the Affordable Care Act will result in “awakened” political correctness trumping medical and ethical considerations, likely exacerbating US nursing and physician shortages
That’s one assessment of proposed revisions released July 25 by the US Department of Health’s Civil Rights Office that could force health care workers to perform sex reassignment procedures. require health insurance companies to cover these costs; and likely remove federal conscience protections for those in health care who oppose having abortions performed.
On August 4, the Federal Register released the proposal, opening a 60-day period for public comments to be submitted at https://bit.ly/3vEM4Bl. The website describes alternative options for submitting comments. The last day for submissions is October 3rd.
“If this rule is final and enforced, it really changes the standards of care in medicine, and an ideology trumps science – it even ends the discussion of conscientious objection,” said Dr. Tim Millea, an Iowa-based orthopedist and chair of the Health Care Policy Committee of the Pennsylvania-based Catholic Medical Association.
“It requires a debate, a debate is healthy and can be uncomfortable, but it’s better than a mandate,” Millea told the Catholic News Service. ‘You can’t refuse; You are forced to refer them to someone who wants that.”
The CMA is a national physician-led community of 2,400 healthcare professionals made up of 115 local guilds. The federation has been awaiting the HHS rule changes since last April after discovering a 74-page legal memorandum attached to a court filing by a consortium of 30 sex rights groups.
The document revealed that HHS would like to revise its health plan coverage and performance mandates to include surgical abortion, cross-sex hormones, gender reassignment surgery, gender-affirming cosmetic surgery and voice modification — along with a variety of expanded services addressing fertility treatments, contraception , abortifacients and sterilizations.
“The proposed rule is littered with waking jargon such as ‘pregnant person’, ‘respondent who retained a uterus’, ‘person who does not have a cervix’ and ‘person who does not have a prostate’, which is demeaning to both men and women,” according to research by the Heritage Foundation.
“An unscientific standard of gender-specific care, and requiring insurance plans to pay for it, rule will result in sterilization, loss of sexual function, removal of healthy reproductive organs, and a plethora of unnecessary surgeries and chemical procedures with lifelong consequences,” the Foundation said.
The U.S. bishops said in a July 27 statement that “Assurances that HHS will comply with religious liberty laws offer little comfort when HHS is actively fighting court rulings that declared that HHS in the last attempt, a to enforce such a mandate in violation of religious freedom laws.”
The “proposed regulations threaten our ability to carry out our healing ministries and those of others to practice medicine. They hire health workers to perform life-changing surgeries to remove perfectly healthy body parts,” the bishops said.
For its part, the CMA has since worked to analyze proposed HHS rule changes in consultation with its Catholic health care providers, including the Tennessee-based Christian Medical & Dental Associations and more recently the Baltimore-based Coalition for Jewish Values.
The changes will likely apply to all healthcare providers, clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, group health insurers and third-party administrators of self-funded plans.
Millea said the situation is an “all hands on deck” moment for the CMA and its partners, but in the broader healthcare community, alongside the reality that also exists with individual healthcare professionals, there continues to be an “adjustment to acceptance, apathy and lack of competition”. busy reading every 300+ page document that comes along.
If not successfully challenged, HHS could soon force all U.S. medical professionals to perform abortions, sex-reassignment surgeries, or assisted suicide against their moral-religious and clinical judgment — which the CMA says amounts to an assault on their rights and the well-being of their patients.
Additionally, greater government intervention in the art and practice of healthcare will result in a further reduction in future medical professionals who have moral or ethical objections to, for example, abortion and sex reassignment procedures.
“If I’m a high school or college kid and I want to go into medicine and I realize that I won’t be able to do what’s right for our patients in all situations, we’re going to take the best and the brightest and they discourage that career,” Millea said.
“It’s becoming a profession with ever-widening blinders; it becomes a closed system with no more open debates,” he added.
The CMA calls on all state legislatures to enact strong medical conscience rights and protections of religious liberty for their state’s health care professionals.
The situation is being closely monitored by the Colorado-based Catholic Benefits Association, which accounts for its membership of over 1,000 Catholic employers, including 60 dioceses and archdioceses, numerous religious orders, colleges and universities, hospitals, legal advocacy and litigation to defend First’s rights Amendment offers and other departments.
Attorney Martin Nussbaum of Nussbaum Speir Gleason in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a law firm that advises the Catholic Benefits Association, said he had begun reviewing the document.
He believes that the injunctive relief, secured as early as 2021, under a mandate for gender reassignment services applicable to current association members and prospective members will provide the association’s member healthcare providers with significant protection from the new HHS rule.
However, barring changes, most employers will generally be forced to follow the proposed new HHS gender ideology, which is likely to be enforced by the Department of Labor. It would have far-reaching implications for costs and compliance for all US employers and would prohibit religious exemptions.
The proposed HHS rules would apply to the implementation of an ACA provision, Section 1557, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex — including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity — in covered health programs or activities .
The HHS proposal will likely apply to all healthcare providers, clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, group health insurers and third-party administrators of self-funded plans.
“People should consider commenting, and HHS needs to look at that and respond before issuing the final rule,” Nussbaum told CNS Aug. 2, citing the possibility now that the proposal has been released, to make a comment.
He said HHS will then take some time to review the public comments and then issue its final rules, which would likely differ in a few areas, he added.
“The rule is very complex, but we will be reading it with a fine comb, sponsoring webinars for our members and others, and educating Catholic employers and healthcare providers about it and considering whether to comment,” Nussbaum said. “But we will protect our members from these immoral rules.”
Nussbaum points out that even the HHS document indicates that a tiny percentage of the public would consider themselves a candidate for so-called gender reassignment surgery, and even fewer will ultimately seek drugs or procedures to perform irreversible “gender migration.” a procedure that can lead to a complete loss of sexual function and render a person infertile.
“It’s all so unnecessary. Why would the government cause all this turmoil for the country when it says it only affects less than 0.0022% to 0.0173% of the people — most of whom won’t even choose these surgeries, according to a California study.” said nut tree.