The Trump administration said yesterday that new health care rules allowing certain doctors to discriminate against patients would be delayed for several months, while a legal battle over the constitutionality of those rules plays out.
The rules were officially announced nearly two months ago. Donald Trump said on the National Day of Prayer that the rule would allow doctors, nurses, insurance providers, and employers to refuse service to patients if it violated their religious beliefs.
He took the bigotry of evangelical Christian bakers and limitations of Catholic hospitals, merged them together, and applied the mixture to the medical industry just to hurt LGBTQ people, women, and other groups that evangelicals routinely discriminate against.
The actual “rule” in question was adherence to a 440-page document, published by the Department of Health and Human Services, laying out new “conscience regulations.” All hospitals, clinics, universities, etc. that receive federal funding (including Medicare and Medicaid) would have to say they’re complying with the “conscience” rules in order to keep receiving money. The plan was for the rules to go into effect 60 days from its publication in the Federal Register — July 22.
Within weeks, though, the lawsuits were filed. The biggest was filed by a group of 23 Democratic states and counties. Others were filed by a trio of civil rights organizations and the city of San Francisco. All of them basically argued that the new rule would hurt the ability to administer or receive health care.
In any case, HHS announced in a court filing yesterday that the new rule would not go into effect until at least November 22 — four months later than they had planned. It would allow them some time to respond to the lawsuits and let the court battle play out.
It’s a small victory for now, but it is a victory.
The GOP-backed, Christian-fueled discriminatory rules won’t be implemented yet. The longer they’re delayed, the better chance there is that they don’t go into effect at all.
(Image via Shutterstock. Portions of this article were published earlier)