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Trump Official Defends New Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Regulation – Says ‘Patients Want Doctors Who Match Their Values’

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The Trump administration’s top official behind a new regulation offering special religious rights to medical providers while harming LGBT people is defending the policy.

“Patients want doctors who match their values,” says Roger Severino (photo), the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Severino, whose résumé includes positions at far right wing organizations, has a long history of publicly opposing transgender people.

The Trump administration on Thursday finalized the new regulation that allows medical professionals and organizations that receive federal funds to refuse service to anyone if they claim serving that person would violate their deeply-held religious beliefs.

Employers who receive complaints filed with the newly-created Conscience and Religious Freedom Division by employees could have their federal funding rescinded.

“Abortion rights and LGBT rights activists argue that the new rule will only make it harder for people seeking abortions and sex reassignment procedures to obtain that care, particularly in underserved, rural areas, where anti-abortion state laws already make accessing abortion services difficult,” Buzzfeed News reports.

“When asked what patients without many health care options were supposed to do if their hospital or health care provider refused to perform the procedures they were seeking, Severino repeatedly avoided the question, instead saying that the US had many health care options,” Buzzfeed adds.

Fenway Health, an organization that works to “enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” makes clear that this new Trump regulation “will make it harder for LGBT people to access health care.”

The new HHS regulation “asserts that protections for health care providers who refuse to provide services based on religious or moral belief are needed because there is ‘an environment of discrimination toward, and attempted coercion of, those who object to certain health care procedures based on religious beliefs or moral convictions,’ and because the number of complaints related to such discrimination that have been filed with the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has increased since November 2016,” Fenway notes, citing the Trump administration’s new rule.

President Trump announced the new policy Thursday during a White House event for the National Day of Prayer.

RELATED STORIES:

TRUMP CREATES NEW ‘CONSCIENCE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DIVISION’ AT HHS TO SUPPORT DISCRIMINATION BY HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

TRUMP ADMIN CREATING POLICY TO ALLOW HEALTH WORKERS WITH RELIGIOUS OR MORAL OBJECTIONS TO DISCRIMINATE

TRUMP PROMISED TO ‘FIGHT FOR’ LGBT PEOPLE BUT NOW HIS ADMINISTRATION IS WORKING TO DEMOLISH PROTECTIONS

 

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent outpatient pancreatic cancer radiation therapy and has been declared cancer-free, according MSNBC’s Pete Williams and a statement from the Supreme Court.

“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the SCOTUS statement says. “No further treatment is needed at this time.”

The three-week treatment was completed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Ginsburg, who is 86 and keeps an active schedule, has maintained she will continue to serve as long as she feel capable.

Here’s MSNBC’s report:

 

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Internet Responds to Death of Billionaire Conservative Activist David Koch by Reminding Everyone What He Stood For

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Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.

Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.

Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.

She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”

On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.

Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:

Others:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Claims About His Performance on Jobs Just Got Destroyed by One of His Own Federal Agencies

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Job Growth Was Much Weaker Than First Reported – and Much Weaker Than Trump Brags About

President Donald Trump’s approval rating is consistently dismal, but the one area that always pulls his low numbers up is how voters think he’s handling the economy and unemployment. Trump talks all the time about how great the economy is – like taking credit when the DOW jumps up or when unemployment drops down, but never taking blame when the reverse occurs.

For example, here’s President Trump talking about the economy and low unemployment numbers – to children and their families – at a White House Easter egg roll:

Trump’s claims about jobs just got slammed, and the wrecking ball comes from one of his own federal agencies: the Dept. of Labor.

Every year the DOL goes back and reviews the numbers it puts out, dives deeper by comparing them to state unemployment insurance reports, and issues a report measuring what unemployment and job growth really was.

And for 2018, the numbers are much different than what the initial reports showed.

“Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported,” according to the Labor Department, The New York Times reports, calling the revision downward “the largest in recent years.”

In other words, the DOL initially reported an additional 500,000 jobs that were never created.

Here’s what that looks like:

A contributing editor at Digital Trends says it’s a 21% drop in job growth numbers from what the Trump administration often claims:

And this senior economist offers up what the revision to the jobs numbers might look like if spread out over just a few months.

“2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed,” the Times also reports.

 

 

 

 

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