WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to the Trump administration’s efforts to overhaul the Department of Health and Human Services to offer legal protections for doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to deny healthcare and other services to patients based on their religious beliefs, congressional Democrats are reportedly working on counterbalancing legislation.
Last week, it was widely reported that the White House will direct the DHH to create a new division within the department. That new division, the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, would be given authority to investigate and punish medical facilities that don’t allow staff to opt-out of procedures based on their religion.
The pending rule would establish a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the HHS civil rights office that would conduct compliance reviews, audits and other enforcement actions to ensure that health care providers are allowing workers to opt out of procedures when they have religious or moral objections. The new division would be a third, co-equal branch with the office’s existing two divisions that focus on federal civil rights laws and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. (Politico)
“When doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, their first pledge is to do no harm, but apparently Republicans believe that it should be amended to state, ‘First do no harm, unless your God tells you how they live their life is icky,” one Democratic aide told us. “So what Dems in Congress are floating is some legislation that they hope simply illustrates the absurdity of giving doctors the right to refuse medical treatment to anyone.”
The Let’s Just Let It All Go To Shit, I Guess Act would empower doctors to not treat anyone they deem to be “knuckle-dragging or mouth breathing religious zealots.” The act assumes that doctors would be in the best position to judge “whether a patient would just be better off meeting their almighty God than getting healthcare treatments.”
“Why should we force doctors to keep racist, xenophobic, or hateful, spiteful people alive if they don’t want to,” one Democratic source said. “Seems to me like that’s some tyrannical government overreach that small government conservatives would want to stop, but hey, what do I know, right?”
Sources are saying that should the Trump administration rescind their plan, the Democratic legislation will be pulled as well.
“Look, if Republicans would just stop trying to ram the idea of a theocracy over the wall of separation of church and state and down our throats, we wouldn’t be discussing this legislation,” another Democratic aide told us. “So if we can just get our country back to a place where we respect people’s right to believe in Christianity’s dogma without having it imperil our lives, we’ll take this legislation off the table and set it on fire.”
Reached for comment, a spokesman for ISIS said the new religious freedom protections offered by the Trump administration is a “source of unexpected hope and optimism” for the terrorist group.
“Who knew we had so much in common with the United States government? We’re just as anti-trans and LGBTQ in general, so who knows, maybe we can find some common ground and fight social progress together, hand in glove,” the ISIS spokesman said.
This story is developing.