Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Virginia and Two Dozen States/Municipalities Suing to Block Trump Licence to Discriminate

Trump and Pence with Christofascist leaders.
As often noted in this blog, evangelical Christians have remained Donald Trump's strongest base of support notwithstanding the fact that Trump is the antithesis to what ought to be Christian behavior and morals.  One way that Trump has retained the loyalty of evangelicals has been through (i) his racist agenda - many evangelical organizations such as The Family Foundation here in Virginia and denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention trace their roots to white supremacy efforts - and (ii) his efforts to exempt them from the restriction  of non-discrimination laws most recently embodied in his regime's "conscience rule" allowing health care providers to use real or feigned religious belief to refuse to treat or care for those their dislike.  Now, Virginia and two dozen states and municipalities have sued to block this insidious and dangerous move to please hate motivated evangelicals and "professional Christians" such as Jerry Falwell, Jr., and James Dobson.  Here are highlights from a piece in the Washington Post:

A group of mostly Democratic states filed lawsuits against the Trump administration on Tuesday, challenging a new federal rule that gives health-care providers, insurers and employers greater latitude to refuse to provide or pay for medical services that they say violate their religious or moral beliefs.
A lawsuit by a coalition of nearly two dozen states and cities, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that the rule illegally favors the personal views of health-care workers over the needs of patients — “at a dangerous price” of hobbling the ability of state-run health-care facilities to provide effective care.
A separate suit, brought by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleges that the rule “impedes access to basic care” and “encourages discrimination against vulnerable patients,” including women and LGBTQ individuals.
The suits, . . .  seek to block the rule, announced by President Trump early this month and published Tuesday in the Federal Register. It allows individuals and entities to refrain from delivering or paying for services such as abortion, sterilization or assisted suicide if they have a religious or moral objection to them. The 440-page rule also grants parents rights to refuse several specific types of care for their children.
The lawsuits are part of a spate of federal litigation challenging various ways the Trump administration has been rewriting health-care policies.
The “conscience protections,” as their advocates call them, are among actions taken by the Department of Health and Human Services that appeal to Christian conservatives, a constituency that is part of Trump’s political base. The rule is due to take effect in late July.
The multistate lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the rule puts at risk billions of dollars in federal funds if the states participating in the case do not comply.
The 80-page complaint says the rule also will harm teaching hospitals and other health-care facilities run by some of the states and cities, undermining their effectiveness and forcing them to hire extra staff in case some workers refuse care that patients need. The rule also risks “undermining longstanding efforts by those institutions to build trust with the patient communities they serve,” the suit says.
The suit further alleges that the rule violates several federal laws, including those governing Medicare and Medicaid, civil rights statutes, and a statute requiring hospitals to provide emergency care.
In addition to New York, the plaintiffs are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin, plus the cities of Chicago and New York; Cook County, Ill.; and the District.
Trump and evangelicals are a clear and present evil that threaten the rule of law and constitutional government. 

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