Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Obama Revisits Last-Minute Bush Admin. Regs
The New York Times: Obama Will Ease Restraints on States' Health Insurance Programs for Children, by Robert Pear:
...Some of the policies may take more time to revise because they are in regulations that have already taken effect and have the force of law.
Mr. Obama has said, for example, that he objects to a last-minute Bush administration rule that grants sweeping new protections to health workers who refuse to help perform abortions, dispense contraceptives or provide other care because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
This “provider conscience regulation,” published on Dec. 19, takes effect on Tuesday, the day of Mr. Obama’s inauguration.
A 1983 Supreme Court decision suggests that the new administration would need to go through a formal rule-making process, with an opportunity for public comment, if it wanted to revoke this rule....
Mr. Obama is also expected to revoke the so-called global gag rule, a policy that prohibits organizations receiving federal money from performing abortions or supporting abortion as a method of family planning in other countries. Critics say that the restrictions — imposed by President Ronald Reagan, removed by President Bill Clinton two days after he took office and then reinstated by President Bush — also limit access to contraceptives and family planning services.