Their Feelings > You

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Kai
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Their Feelings > You

Unread postby Kai » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:04 am

<p>Fuck you Mike Leavitt.

I've commented on his blog before, on this whole "let's redefine nearly every form of contraception as abortion" clusterfuck going through DHHS right now. Because, y'see, this isn't about restricting women's health care (even though that's what'll happen). That's not even a relevant issue! Even though that's what'll happen. No, this is about FEELINGS.

The doctors' feelings, to be precise. Didn't you know? They're more important than the patient's health, or a contractual obligation to provide a service patients pay for. If a doctor doesn't believe in abortion, then they aren't going to provide them. This doesn't sound truly terrifying until you consider that DHHS thinks it should be allowed to define "abortion" however loosely they'd like. They want to change it to "life begins at fertilization, so anything that prevents the fertilized egg from sticking to the inside of your uterus is now an abortion." That way a doctor can deny you a whole list of things (most notably every birth control method I can think of that isn't a barrier method) because it is more important to DHHS that doctors provide care according to their consciences than for patiences to receive care according to their consciences.

Leavitt mocked the position of people like me who believe that doctors should provide the care they agreed to provide when they got licensed, stating, "Freedom of expression and action is surrendered with the issuance of a medical degree."

You lose the freedom to betray the standards of your profession, yeah. Doctors lose the freedom to deny care to people who come to them for it, psychologists lose the freedom to gossip about people who talk to them in a professional context, etc. I realize this loss of freedom of expression and action must be deeply traumatic for doctors. Being held to the same professional standards as all other doctors is just awful. If your argument is that doctors should be allowed to exempt themselves from their oaths just 'cuz they wanna... well, I'm with you! Professional standards and accountability are for those secularist babymurdering liberals.

Yes. That was sarcasm.

In all seriousness, though. If you are not ready to provide the services of a physician, don't become one. If it's against my religion to dance in public, I should not dream of Broadway. If I believe that rum is the devil's poison and that Prohibition should be re-established, I should not aspire to become a bartender. If it's against my conscience to provide medical advice or procedures to certain people or for certain reasons, I should not dream of a medical career.

Medicine is about service. You are doing a disservice to half the population of this country by codifying an appalling belief: that women's LIVES are not as important as the FEELINGS of doctors who should never have gone into practice in the first place.

One comment by "Michelle" got a chuckle out of me, and I wanted to share it.
<blockquote>I think I'm going to become a doctor. Of course, I'm morally opposed to inhaled steroids and albuterol--in my religion inhaling something other than the air we normally breathe is counter to God's will. I'm going to have a lot of asthma patients! When all those asthma patients drop dead on the floor of the ER during a massive asthma attack--Oh well, at least my god will be pleased. Whatever the patient needed/wanted to do with their body doesn't matter. And in fact, I'll work very hard to lobby against allowing asthma drugs to exist! I need to save those people who think they need the medication I don't like, even if it kills them. By denying them proper medical treatment, I'll be pleasing God and that's more important than what the patient thinks is right for his/her body! Go me, medical degree here I come!</blockquote>I followed a particularly well-thought-out comment to the site linked, and was delighted to recognize the name of someone on my friends list. naamah_darling, you rock.

Here's one small piece of the glory she posted.
<blockquote>I think everyone should be free to act with conscience (though an argument could be made that someone who does not wish to perform their duty should not have taken the job to begin with). But what assurances, sir, do we have that you will see to it that women who need services will still be served? What are your plans for that? Or have you forgotten the entire point of the medical profession, which is to provide care for those who need it? I demand to know this, sir. I demand to know how you plan to make sure women are not further harmed by this policy of yours, as they are being harmed by existing laws and policy.

If you put into place a system or set of rules that dictated women MUST be promptly referred to another provider covered under her insurance plan, then and only then will I be able to "conscience" turning these incredibly important decisions over to anyone but the woman.

I have to say I am not very impressed with your responses so far. You don't seem to care much about patients at all, when arguably, you should care about them above all. That, sir, is disgusting.</blockquote>That about says it as far as I'm concerned. If you want to preach, become a pastor. If you want to control women's lives, move to Saudi Arabia. If you want to become a doctor, treat the patients that come to you.

I encourage others to leave comments on Leavitt's blog. A pro-life group has encouraged its members to flood his blog with grateful comments, and I agree with NARAL Pro-Choice America. He needs to be hearing us, too.

Otherwise, it's gonna be a lot of this: "There IS NO financial reason not to have a child, if we trust in God's Providence."

Yeah. That's a comment on there, by Elizabeth Victory.

Please. Be the voice of reason, and be a loud one. Those of us females who want to control our childrearing don't want to be treated like cattle, breeding at the behest of someone with authority over us. Those of us females who want to be as free as a man to live independent lives would really appreciate the right to control our reproduction.

Don't let DHHS take it, and certainly don't let idiots like Elizabeth Victory encourage DHHS to take it.

As Anita Monical stated:
<blockquote>Well, I for one am happy to know that soooo many doctors view their right to deny women access to and information regarding contraception as a matter of personal integrity, and not a matter of women's health.

I certainly would have all kinds of faith in physicians who put unshared moral values above the health and wellbeing of women. No really.

I never thought of medical professionals as an enemy of my own physical health, mental wellbeing and yes, my financial security. I do now.</blockquote>That should scare you. It scares me.

All you have to do is post a comment. It'll take you thirty seconds.

DHHS wants to say that physicians have the right to refuse you care if they decide it hurts their feelings to give you what you need. DHHS wants to say that physicians have the right to hinder women's access to legal and safe contraception and abortion. DHHS wants to say that the consciences of female patients are less important and valid than the doctors who would deny them the care that the patients have chosen to seek out.

Say no.</p>

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PriamNevhausten
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Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:43 am

Is this even being considered in the DHHS? (Also, I looked up what DHHS stands for, because it's not a very common abbreviation: Department of Health and Human Services. I could poke at the name with regards to this issue, but I will refrain from doing that except in this sentence.) How can they put such a fluffy word as 'conscience' in a piece of legally binding material? I know historically it has been done ('tender years' still being in a lot of stuff about parental rights), but that doesn't make it good, clear, or desirable.

And, like, what are we, the people, doing? Blogging? We're adults here, what can we do to matter?

edit: Oh, and. I want to make clear how important it is to me that this is NOT a reproductive or contraceptive issue. This is way, WAY bigger than that. The flilppant comment regarding asthma you excerpted is more along the lines of how we should probably be thinking about this.
"You haven't told me what I'm looking for."
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan's audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
--Colin Laney and Kathy Torrance, William Gibson's Idoru

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pd Rydia
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Re: Their Feelings > You

Unread postby pd Rydia » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:22 am

Kai wrote:You lose the freedom to betray the standards of your profession, yeah. Doctors lose the freedom to deny care to people who come to them for it, psychologists lose the freedom to gossip about people who talk to them in a professional context, etc. I realize this loss of freedom of expression and action must be deeply traumatic for doctors.
See, this is the thing that gets me.

No one loses the freedom to anything. A doctor can still obey his "conscience" and deny a woman an abortion. If, indeed, he finds that more important than anything else.

He will, however, face legal repercussions--which he damn well knew going into the profession.

Which goes back to--why the fuck did you become a doctor, and if it is such a moral quandry, why don't you find another job?

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Unread postby Justice Augustus » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:30 am

Like Priam, I see a slippery slope element to this issue. If doctors were allowed to refuse to provide contraceptives due to their personal beliefs, that could lead down a dangerous path. What about doctors refusing to treat a patient because he does not agree with their other life choices (such as safe-sex)? What about a doctor refusing to treat a homosexual, or someone of a different ethnic group? If you think that's taking it a bit too far, lets move it down a notch. If someone says its ok to refuse contraceptives due to an issue of conscience, as they consider it tantamount to murdering a possible individual, then what about refusing to sell tampons or other feminine sanitary products? If you're having a period, that's a missed chance for a baby! You've just committed murder by choosing not to create life at every opportunity!

To be honest, I'm actually ok with doctors refusing to provide contraceptives as a personal choice AS LONG AS they immediately provide that patient access to a doctor who will provide those contraceptives without any delay or inconvenience to the patient (ideally a doctor who works at the same location who can see the patient that same day), and do not attempt to influence or chastise the patient in any way beyond their medical job description (ie: they cannot tell them that sexual intercourse is evil, but they can warn against STDs). That way we can avoid losing members of staff from the medical field (which are sorely needed last time I checked) while ensuring that patients receive the treatment they desire.

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:34 pm

And, like, what are we, the people, doing? Blogging? We're adults here, what can we do to matter?


I've also called his office. Anyone else who wants to contact him should feel free to do so.

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt
Office Phone: 202-690-7000 or 202-205-4708
Email: mike.leavitt@hhs.gov
Fax: 202-690-7203
Correspondence Secretary: 202-690-6392

If you want to email your member of Congress, you can also do so here, using the tool their site has.

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:14 pm

The Bush administration has officially proposed a rule to the Dept. of Health and Human Services that doctors can refuse to treat patients if their consciences protest for any reason. Basically if they dunwanna, you don't get medical care.

Send an email to consciencecomment@hhs.gov, with the subject line "provider conscience regulation." They are publishing these comments right now, because it is in a 30-day public comment period. This is an absolute emergency. Don't let the misogynist religious whackos be the only voices DHHS hears. Say something. Just send an email. Otherwise, after thirty days, this rule goes into effect.

Really. It does. This is going to happen. Please tell them you are NOT falling for this bullshit, and that you are NOT going to let fundamentalists speak for you. Forward this to anyone you know who doesn't believe that women should be forced to breed on anyone's timeline or by anybody's rules but their own.

Here's what I'm saying.

Doctors do and always have had the freedom of conscience to choose not to provide certain kinds of medical care. This is the choice they make in medical school when they're investing tens of thousands of dollars to become educated and licensed. If they are not ready to fulfill the obligations of their chosen profession, then just like anyone else who doesn't want to do their job? They shouldn't be doing it. Doctors need to provide patients with medical care. End of line.

Here's the problem. Doctors should not be the ones to decide which patients "deserve" the standard of care they are coming to receive. Those who say that this ruling is not about denying women access to birth control are either gullible or lying. Here's how I know it's about denying women health care.

One: This is clearly about allowing doctors to refuse to perform abortions for patients who request them. Considering that 87% of counties in America don't have an abortion provider, this puts rural women at a serious disadvantage when they need medical care. Why does this statistic matter? Because if the one doctor within reasonable range of a woman in need refuses to treat her, she may not be able to find another, particularly considering that this proposed rule does not include provisions for women who have been refused. Not only can her doctor say no, but he is not obligated to refer her to a physician willing to provide her with an abortion.

Two: This becomes truly scary when you think about the fact that DHHS wants to change the definition of "life" to "at fertilization" rather than "at implantation." These are both pretty damned arbitrary classifications considering that a fertilized egg is less of an independent organism than the gut flora living in my large intestine (and which I am allowed to slaughter at will with every antibiotic treatment I undergo). Why is this scary? See point three.

Three: Non-barrier methods (basically anything but a diaphragm or condom) works at least partly by preventing implantation. It prevents the fertilized egg from sticking to the inside of your uterus so that it never has a chance to start getting nourishment from your body. It's flushed out like any unfertilized egg, and your body does this on its own. What this means is that any non-barrier method that interferes with implantation will be classified as an abortion, giving doctors a perfect airtight legal excuse to deny women these prescriptions because a moral imperative the patient obviously does not share (or she wouldn't be asking for contraceptives) dictates that she doesn't need contraceptives after all.

If you are not ready to provide the services of a physician, don't become one. If it's against my religion to dance in public, I should not dream of Broadway. If I believe that rum is the devil's poison and that Prohibition should be re-established, I should not aspire to become a bartender. If it's against my conscience to provide medical advice or procedures to certain people or for certain reasons, I should not dream of a medical career.

Medicine is about service. You are doing a disservice to half the population of this country by codifying an appalling belief: that women's LIVES are not as important as the FEELINGS of doctors who should never have gone into that practice in the first place.

And yes, this is about a woman's life versus the feelings of her doctor. If a woman cannot control her reproduction, she cannot control any aspect of her life. If a woman cannot delay pregnancy she is at a serious disadvantage compared to a man when it comes to getting an education, maintaining a career, and supporting herself. If at any time she could be railroaded into halting her life to bear a child at someone else's will, then her life as she know it can end at any time.

Anyone reading this, I'm begging you to think about this. Think about what effect having a child really has on women. In third world countries early pregnancy and single motherhood are one of the chief reasons that women and their children are economically and socially the biggest victims of poverty, disease, and hunger. Do you want that here? Are you ready for those consequences? Because that's where we're going.

If you love even a single woman in your life--mother, sister, daughter, friend, lover, anything--please protect her. Say no to this. Treat them like human beings, with wills and lives of their own. Let the women you love control their reproduction, instead of breeding on someone else's timeline and by someone else's rules. You owe them that much.

The right to choose. Women may choose to bear children from these "surprise pregnancies," and they may choose to delay childbearing. But they have the right to choose for themselves on their own terms.

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Unread postby pd Rydia » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:50 pm

My post to Leavitt's blog never got approved. Apparently, "damn" is too vulgar for approval.

I sent an email in. Significantly shorter than yours. I barely had the energy to write anything at all.
I am a registered Maryland voter and I absolutely oppose the recently proposed regulation "to help protect health care providers from discrimination".

It is disingenuous to call the uniform demands of a health care provider "discrimination." A health care provider's job is to provide for my health care, whatever it may be. Perhaps I will need a surgery. Perhaps I will need psychotropics. Perhaps I will need birth control. Whatever my needs, my doctor--and everyone else in the practice, including the volunteers--need to be able to provide for me, regardless of personal beliefs. It is not appropriate to deny me a life-saving blood transfusion because my nurse's religion forbids it.

We have wonderful freedoms in our country. They are not, however, a free ticket to do whatever we want, causing harm to whoever we want. We all must practice our beliefs in a manner that respects the freedoms of others.

Yes, this may lead doctors to hard decisions. They may need to provide care they disagree with, or even leave their job. They do, however, have these choices--choices which do not come at the cost of their patients' health. And if a doctor is not foremost concerned the health of his or her patients, it may well be time to look for another job.

Respectfully,
Cheryl Kuhl-Paine


:science: This is so incredibly depressing.

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Kai
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Unread postby Kai » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:01 am

Thank you for emailing. I'm trying to get as many people to do so as I possibly can. If there's anyone you can forward this to (assuming of course you have not already), that'd also be awesome.

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Unread postby Seethe » Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:57 am

E-mail sent.

I am a registered Indiana voter and find myself absolutely opposed to the recently proposed regulation regarding “protection of conscience.”

At the bottom line, enacting this proposal will make it more difficult for women to obtain necessary medical care. This is no better, and is in fact worse, than the incorrectly-labeled “discrimination” against medical practitioners. Medical practitioners do not have their lives and livelihoods placed in serious jeopardy by performing services which they knew would be required of them when they chose their profession. If a woman is unable to receive birth control, on the other hand, the result can be a serious risk to her health, her life, and her ability to support herself. This is discrimination because it places a preventable risk on women that men do not face.

To say that this proposal does not threaten women’s access to treatment is inaccurate. In many rural areas, access to medical care is already severely limited. If the only provider within reasonable distance refuses to provide treatment or information necessary to receive treatment in a timely manner, access to treatment is effectively restricted. Furthermore, to say that the issue is only about abortion and not contraception is also inaccurate because the language in the proposal is sufficiently vague that doctors would be able to define conception rather than implantation as the beginning of life.

Why should this risk be considered valuable as a possible social statement, as Secretary Leavitt has suggested? If we do consider that outcome as a statement, the statement would simply be, “We as a society find that women are not qualified to control their own lives and may justifiably have control of their own bodies taken from them.” Truly, this statement should be far more horrifying than anyone seems to realize.

Placing uniform demands on health care providers is not discrimination. We do not, for example, grant special protections for individuals entering the medical field who believe that prayer is the only morally acceptable means of healing. If the requirements of a job are against an individual’s belief system, then the individual should simply choose a different career. That may be a hard decision to make, but principles are only worth anything if a person can make hard choices for their sake.

Those entering the health care field do not currently surrender any rights of conscience when doing so. They do, however, take on certain responsibilities. This is simply called “making a choice,” and it entails the caveat that they must be prepared to accept the results of that choice. Freedom of speech is not intended to create a carefree world where everyone is protected from all of the consequences their own choices naturally bring. Women who choose birth control face this caveat, and so too must those individuals choosing a career where the ability to provide birth control is a known requirement.

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Unread postby Kai » Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:17 am

Thanks, Seethe. Also, how did I miss the fact that you live in Indiana?!

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Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:28 pm

I have also emailed. Not gonna post my thing, though.
"You haven't told me what I'm looking for."
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan's audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
--Colin Laney and Kathy Torrance, William Gibson's Idoru

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Unread postby pd Rydia » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:47 am

PriamNevhausten wrote:Not gonna post my thing, though.
Maverick!

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Unread postby Seethe » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:42 pm

I suppose it's possible that I may never have mentioned living in Indiana. I thought I did at some point, but I can't remember specifically.

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Unread postby pd Rydia » Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:16 pm

[url=http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/12/18/hhs-publishes-provider-conscience-expansion-rule]...

:([/url]

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Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:34 am

What the hell. Really. I think this has to be one of the criteria for knowing when democracy isn't the right option.
"You haven't told me what I'm looking for."
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan's audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
--Colin Laney and Kathy Torrance, William Gibson's Idoru

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Unread postby pd Rydia » Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:25 am

I'll forever remember Bush Jr. as the jackass whose last action before leaving office was to kick every U.S. woman in the cunt.

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Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:10 am

That's somewhat myopic, I think. This is much, much bigger than abortion, though I'm sure that's what they had in mind with this. This is so huge, that a doctor has the right to refuse treatment or referral for anything for no reason, and can be supported in court and still call himself a professional with a straight face. There is so much wrong with this that it would be negligent to think this is strictly a reproductive-rights issue. This is open license for borderline quackery.
"You haven't told me what I'm looking for."
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan's audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
--Colin Laney and Kathy Torrance, William Gibson's Idoru

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Unread postby Idran1701 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:50 am

Indeed. Such a wide-ranging rule is just insane. This excerpt from a recent article in Political Animal demonstrates that best:

This is a wonderful rule for slackers, since it provides a legally protected way to get paid while doing no work at all. Here's the plan:

(1) Get an MD, and a job as a doctor.
(2) Become a Christian Scientist.
(3) Announce your religious objection to participating in any medical procedure, or to supporting such procedures in any way (e.g., by doing the other doctors' paperwork. This refusal would be protected under the rule.)
(4) When your employer protests, explain that your right to refuse to participate in any medical procedure at all is legally protected under this rule.


Under the rule as-is, this would be an entirely legal course of action, which is just utterly ridiculous.

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Unread postby pd Rydia » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:55 pm

I fully realize how insane the rule is. However, think realistically. I'm much more likely to feel the effects of it when seeking, say, contraception or sterilization, than when seeking a blood transfusion.

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PriamNevhausten
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Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:04 am

Then the problem isn't so much that the rule is bad (though it is both bad and a problem); we're more along the lines of the doctor being an asshole. Credit where credit is due.
"You haven't told me what I'm looking for."
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan's audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
--Colin Laney and Kathy Torrance, William Gibson's Idoru

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Unread postby pd Rydia » Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:59 am

PriamNevhausten wrote:Then the problem isn't so much that the rule is bad (though it is both bad and a problem); we're more along the lines of the doctor being an asshole. Credit where credit is due.
Certainly, that's been a problem for some time. This rule, however, enables them to be legally protected while being assholes.

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Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:05 am

Which sucks. I guess assholes look out for their own, perhaps. And both are problems, and now we as a group should probably look for ways to get this shit undone. Anyone know how that works?
"You haven't told me what I'm looking for."
"Anything that might be of interest to Slitscan. Which is to say, anything that might be of interest to Slitscan's audience. Which is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections."
--Colin Laney and Kathy Torrance, William Gibson's Idoru

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Unread postby pd Rydia » Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:02 pm

From formerly linked article:
The rule must now be submitted to both the Government Accountability Office and both houses of Congress. Congress has a period of time to review the rule (and because of the timing of the rule's publication, this period will stretch into the 111th Congress), during which time a motion to disprove can be introduced. If the motion to disprove is passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President, the rule cannot be enforced or defended in court. Using the Congressional Review Act in this way to invalidate the regulation, however, would be "controversial," says Matt Madia, of OMB Watch. A motion to disprove has to see an up-or-down vote; it can't be attached to appropriations bills or other must-pass legislation. "Everyone has to go on record on the issue, and there's no way to fudge it," says Madia.

If this avenue fails, Congress could refuse to appropriate funds for implementation of the rule, or Congress could pass the legislation introduced by Sens. Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray that would prohibit HHS from implementing the regulation. Finally, the new administration could begin a new round of rule-making, perhaps the most time-consuming option.

The only thing that occurs to me write now is the "writing letters to politicians" standby.

Haven't been able to find the referred-to Clinton-Murray legislation.


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