Yesterday, Barack Obama extended gay rights to gays for use in hospitals, both gay and straight. This unprecedented expansion of homosexuality into the personal lives of homosexuals has our right-leaning friends in a tizzy – and rightfully so!
I also don’t see why discrimination policy (or stem-cell policy, for that matter) should be set unilaterally by the president via funding protocols instead of by Congress, especially given The One’s increasing habit of bypassing the legislature to get things done. Granted, they can overrule him by passing a statute, but doing it this way protects Blue Dogs from a vote they may not want to take ahead of the midterms. To which I say: If you can’t handle the tough votes, don’t run.
I am curious, when did he become in charge of who may or may not visit you in the hospital?
Is this unnecessary federalization of hospital visitor lists part of that trillion-dollar fiasco known as Obamacare?
If not, shouldn’t Congress at least pass a bill approving this new-found power of the president?
Technically, he’s using Medicare to cram this through. I don’t think so, Beanie. Insurers are not supposed to dictate who may or may not visit you in the hospital.
Brilliant points all, which can only be answered one of two ways. The first is that Congress’ statutory authorization for Medicare and Medicaid already allows the executive branch significant leeway in setting funding conditions (see, for instance, Rust v. Sullivan, which determined that Title X funds could be used to fund anti-choice doctors). President Obama and HHS are using the same policy-setting mechanisms that have been in effect since the advent of Medicare/aid to make the same kinds of changes that prior administrations have made, and the only role Congress has is in taking away this power, not in authorizing (if it cares about it at all).
The other option is that President Obama just went super gay last night and decided to give all of the gays and lesbians in the country the right to go gay it up in Catholic hospitals because he hates Congress.
Picture courtesy of Feast of Fun.com’s photostream on Flickr.