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Mixed Feelings on Obama’s Hospital Visitation Order

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:24 pm - April 16, 2010.
Filed under: Obama and Gay Issues

Yesterday, I learned that President Obama had ordered “that nearly all hospitals allow patients to say who has visitation rights and who can help make medical decisions, including gay and lesbian partners“:

The White House on Thursday released a statement by Obama instructing his Health and Human Services secretary to draft rules requiring hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid payments to grant all patients the right to designate people who can visit and consult with them at crucial moments.

The designated visitors should have the same rights that immediate family members now enjoy, Obama’s instructions said. It said Medicare-Medicaid hospitals, which include most of the nation’s facilities, may not deny visitation and consultation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation,gender identity or disability.

While I’m pleased with the result, I’m concerned about the process.

First, I believe any individual should be able to designate people who can visit him when he’s been hospitalized.  I also believe private hospitals should be free to set their own policies.  And I question whether the president has the authority to do so.  And if he does, wonder what kind of precedent would this set.  Will a future president impose other such mandates on hospitals?

Here, we see a “conflict” between the freedom of hospitals to set their own policies and the ability of their “clients” to choose their visitors.  In most cases, the conflict never materializes.  But, it has; individuals on their death beds have been deprived of the company of their beloved, even after writing “‘advanced health care directive[s]‘” asking for full visitation rights for” said individual.

I don’t like it when the government mandates a private institution to do anything, but I do like what this mandate accomplishes.

I’m also wondering if Obama is doing this because he needs to “throw a bone” to the gay community, given how he left us out of Obamacare and how we still haven’t seen a legislative timeline for repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT).  Perhaps, he issued this order to placate gay activists as he knows he won’t be able to repeal DADT before the fall elections.

I do hope I’m wrong about that last fear.

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80 Comments

  1. My objection is different. It is Obama’s use of executive branch fiat to make law, rather than allow the legislative process defined in Article I of the Constitution to work.

    Should my cousin ever be in the hospital, I will fight any individual who tries to keep her partner from her bedside — she is a part of our family. Indeed, I’d prefer that the hospital exclude her ultra-fundy sister and brother-in-law from her bedside, after the way they banned all contact between her children and her sister after she came out (following years of being the primary babysitter for the kids) and have refused to participate in family gatherings where the “sinners” are present.

    Comment by Rhymes With Right — April 16, 2010 @ 8:46 pm - April 16, 2010

  2. This is “progressivism” in a nutshell, they want to dictate what anyone who takes money from the government can and cannot do, AND they want to make as many people as possible take money from the Federal government so they will be able to tell everyone what to do.

    They do not understand freedom, they do not value freedom, they want to command and control everyone and every thing. And they will deny til they are blue in the face at the very same time they are using government to force others to do things their way.

    Comment by American Elephant — April 16, 2010 @ 8:59 pm - April 16, 2010

  3. I completely agree with what the results of what he did, but hate the way he did it….like RWR says, executive fiat. To heck with that.

    Comment by MissTammy — April 16, 2010 @ 9:10 pm - April 16, 2010

  4. I don’t like it when the government mandates a private institution to do anything, but I do like what this mandate accomplishes.

    Oh, so you don’t like when the government mandates that private institutions aren’t allowed to hire children? Or when the government mandates that private institutions can’t force people to work 70-hour weeks? Or when the government mandates that private institutions aren’t allowed to pump toxic sludge into the local drinking water? Yeah, gee whiz, all this government mandating never did a bit of good!

    This is what I would refer to as ‘hyperpartisan.’ The President does something that is totally understandable, that has absolutely no ill effects, and is utterly uncontroversial, but oh, you’re worried about the kind of precedent it could set. What kind of precedent, of course, you never make clear, because you’re afraid to put yourself out there and make a real argument. There’s only enough time to sputter out vague generalities in between Limbaugh and Beck broadcasts, I guess.

    Comment by Levi — April 16, 2010 @ 9:22 pm - April 16, 2010

  5. Legislative debate to enact a law to establish child labor laws and establish regulatory agencies is a bit different than an individual fiat. The precedent we are concerned about is a concentration of power. Let’s hear you recite the same argument if in the future a president uses this “tool” to gore your ox. Maybe he’ll mandate every citizen own a gun, or maybe establish intern camps for “populations of suspicion”. You can say it won’t happen- but consider the climate that produced such a pancea for the left that we have now. The political tsunmami could go to the right and have some one as much an anathema to the left as BHO is to the right. You want that person to exercise that same level of power.

    Comment by BigShooter — April 16, 2010 @ 9:52 pm - April 16, 2010

  6. Why don’t we allow the consumers (remember them — they’re the people who used to be able to afford to pay hospital bills themselves) to dictate who gets to visit whom in the hospital?

    I know not every hospital allows same-sex partner visitation rights, and this is very wrong. But unless the hospital is run by idiots, or the decision is taken away from the management (by, say, the government), most of them can be brought around to understanding it isn’t very smart to piss off the consumer.

    Remember when the customer was always right? Whatever happened to that guideline?

    With every new layer of bureaucracy that is added to the system, consumer choice becomes less and less a factor.

    Comment by Lori Heine — April 16, 2010 @ 10:05 pm - April 16, 2010

  7. Here’s the problem. The list of hospitals going off medicare due to inadequate funding is growing. This may increase this trend.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 16, 2010 @ 10:20 pm - April 16, 2010

  8. How does this executive order work with HIPPA regulations – and which takes priority when there’s a conflict?

    Who gets priority to dictate course of treatment in the event someone is incapacitated (i.e. Terri Schiavo – who becomes a prime example of the case for gay marriage)? Family or non-related but chosen partner? Distant siblings, or the b/f or g/f of 20 years, etc etc?

    When my DP had surgery, no one – not the doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, aides nor administrators – batted an eye when we went in together. We were so obviously together they freely shared info with me. The free market works!

    Comment by Jax Dancer — April 16, 2010 @ 10:26 pm - April 16, 2010

  9. RWR, I appreciate your comment; do hope my objection to law by executive fiat was implicit in my post. Thanks for raising the issue more “explicitly.”

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 16, 2010 @ 10:31 pm - April 16, 2010

  10. Hmmmm…..I wonder how y’all feel about Truman’s executive order to desegregate the military.

    2: what an insane argument.

    Comment by Kevin — April 16, 2010 @ 10:44 pm - April 16, 2010

  11. What does Terri Schiavo have to do with gay marriage?

    Comment by Seane-Anna — April 16, 2010 @ 11:01 pm - April 16, 2010

  12. Legislative debate to enact a law to establish child labor laws and establish regulatory agencies is a bit different than an individual fiat. The precedent we are concerned about is a concentration of power. Let’s hear you recite the same argument if in the future a president uses this “tool” to gore your ox. Maybe he’ll mandate every citizen own a gun, or maybe establish intern camps for “populations of suspicion”. You can say it won’t happen- but consider the climate that produced such a pancea for the left that we have now. The political tsunmami could go to the right and have some one as much an anathema to the left as BHO is to the right. You want that person to exercise that same level of power.

    Oh give me a break. I’ll bet you were all over George Bush for issuing these executive orders, weren’t you?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2209225/pagenum/2

    Sorry, but executive orders have their purpose, and common sense/zero consequence stuff like this is exactly what they’re for. That tsunami you’re talking about has already been the other way and that was when it was a disaster. I just can’t get myself all worked up about Obama using one of these things to let gay couples visit each other in the hospital. Did you get worked up when Bush banned the funding of an entire field of scientific research? Where were all the conservatives worrying about executive fiat back then, hmmm?

    Comment by Levi — April 16, 2010 @ 11:07 pm - April 16, 2010

  13. I’m a straight person, but I just wanted to see how this blog would react to Obama enacting same-sex visitation rights., I knew you’d be against whatever Obama does so I wasn’t surprised.

    Do you people really think Republicans are even concerned about the rights of gay people?

    “I’m pleased with the result, I’m concerned about the process.”

    Give me a break, not even gay Republicans are for gay people’s rights.

    Levi’s post was spot on BTW.

    Comment by David — April 16, 2010 @ 11:11 pm - April 16, 2010

  14. I have been hospitalized several times and in two different states. I have always had the right to say who could be with me in the hospital and who had the right to make decisions for my health care in case I could not. I have never experienced a situation where I was denied visitation nor medical decision making by the people I noted with the hospital personnel. I was in Rose Memorial in Denver for an operation and my daughter and my friend was with me all the time except, of course, during the operation. Also I was in a hospital in California and my daughter stayed with me all night. I can not see why this order except again The Great Leader wanted to show his power.

    Comment by John W — April 16, 2010 @ 11:13 pm - April 16, 2010

  15. I’m not sure how of a customer you are when you got into a hospital, most people get rushed to the nearest hospital in the event of emergency. You may not get the same treatment at that hospital as a opposed to the one you frequent, especially in an out of the state situation.

    It also gives power of attorney rights and benefits to same sex partners, which is pretty crucial in life or death situation.

    I believe its also a bone throw to the gay community but its still a step forward.

    It would have been nice to do it more organically but there is a stubborn enough minority that keeps such advancements from happening. I am sure several religious motivated people will this as an attack on marriage or something.

    Comment by darkeyedresolve — April 16, 2010 @ 11:17 pm - April 16, 2010

  16. I might add that my friend in Denver is gay but he was never questioned concerning his being there with me all the time.

    Comment by John W — April 16, 2010 @ 11:19 pm - April 16, 2010

  17. Note that the executive order specifically disclaims creation of any rights or causes of action (lawsuits) against the United States. If this is good policy for private health care providers why isn’t it good policy for the VA and other federal providers. The exemption means they can continue to discriminate (if they choose to do so) with impunity.

    More “we know what’s good for you, don’t you mind what’s good for us” government.

    Comment by Banzel — April 16, 2010 @ 11:24 pm - April 16, 2010

  18. “I can not see why this order except again The Great Leader wanted to show his power.”

    Oh yeah what an egregious display of power, giving gay people more rights in hospitals…. just so shameful, who does he think he is pretending to be a friend of gay people.

    Obama could resign tomorrow and you would say he’s being arrogant about it whereas Bush could start a phony-baloney war based on cherry-picked intel, costing a trillion dollars an you won’t give diddly.

    Comment by David — April 16, 2010 @ 11:32 pm - April 16, 2010

  19. “I might add that my friend in Denver is gay but he was never questioned concerning his being there with me all the time.”

    I would be curious if you would expect the same treatment in deep south of Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Utah or other Red states.

    Comment by David — April 16, 2010 @ 11:37 pm - April 16, 2010

  20. Actually, Obama did not do much at all. Check out this link. I think this is the money quote from the “order” itself:

    This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    Comment by Jason — April 16, 2010 @ 11:52 pm - April 16, 2010

  21. David, how you truly feel about gay and lesbian people is nicely demonstrated in how you treat those who disagree with you politically.

    Like dirt.

    You are just a typical Obama Party plantation owner, expecting the gays to bow down and do what Massa says, and when they don’t, calling them uppity.

    And what makes it even more hilarious is that you are a flat-out bigot, claiming that people in “red states” and Republicans all hate gays. That is the typical bilge that comes from an abuser and an Obama Party plantation owner, trying to scare what he sees as stupid darkies into staying put by telling them how everyone outside the plantation walls hates them and how they need to stay good and obedient to Massa in order to survive.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 17, 2010 @ 12:11 am - April 17, 2010

  22. Oh give me a break. I’ll bet you were all over George Bush for issuing these executive orders, weren’t you?

    You were.

    So if you were consistent, you would immediately denounce Obama for doing the same thing.

    However, as has already been made clear, Obama can do whatever he likes, including keep Bush policies that you shrieked were human rights violations and war crimes, and you’ll keep on clapping and cheering and screaming that anyone who opposes Obama is a racist.

    Like this:

    Or when the government mandates that private institutions can’t force people to work 70-hour weeks?

    Obama’s campaign hired unpaid “interns”, forced them to work 40 hours plus a week, and didn’t pay them a dime.

    And you sclapped and cheered and supported it.

    So all we have here is another example of your racist and hyperpartisan beliefs, Levi, as well as you making a complete fool of yourself with blatant hypocrisy. Your Barack Obama doesn’t follow the labor laws, and you have nothing to say.

    Now run away again, coward. You are such a foolish little child, so intellectually vacant and so completely amoral and inconsistent. This is almost becoming too easy.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 17, 2010 @ 12:19 am - April 17, 2010

  23. As was said in my earlier post, I was excited to learn why you’d be against Obama’s order to allow people to choose who visits them in the hospital. Now I know.

    Here’s the thing–pure libertarianism leads to an insane government. Pure socialism leads to an insane government. There are things that the government has to do, and there are places where the government is intrusive.

    Conservatism is about balance, not libertarianism. I am the closest thing to a conservative on this blog because I, like that great conservative Confucius, seek the middle ground. Radicals, like most of the people here, seek extremes.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — April 17, 2010 @ 1:15 am - April 17, 2010

  24. Visitation isn’t the big issue. Medical directive is. Anyone can visit anyone in the hospital, but who calls the shots is the bigger issue. Can you legally pull the plug on your partner? Obama’s emanation is just more window dressing to make it look like he really is earning the vote of the LGBT community.

    Comment by Hunter — April 17, 2010 @ 1:19 am - April 17, 2010

  25. “David, how you truly feel about gay and lesbian people is nicely demonstrated in how you treat those who disagree with you politically.

    Like dirt.”

    Oh please, spare me the phony outrage I’m just pointing out the fact that even gay Republicans are against gay people having civil rights.

    Obama makes a small but concrete step toward equality for gays and lesbians and gay Republicans are even against that!

    Comment by David — April 17, 2010 @ 1:37 am - April 17, 2010

  26. “Visitation isn’t the big issue. is. Anyone can visit anyone in the hospital, but who calls the shots is the bigger issue. Can you legally pull the plug on your partner? Obama’s emanation is just more window dressing to make it look like he really is earning the vote of the LGBT community.”

    —————————————–

    What a joke and who’s against gay freindly medical directives? Democrats and liberals? Really?

    You know and everyone knows conservative Republicans and the religious right will try to block anything that going to benefit gay people… even punishment for gay hate crimes.

    The only people that are preventing Obama from doing anything much more than window dressing are conservative Republicans and the religious right… even a straight man like me knows that.

    Hunter maybe I’m missing something, you tell me what group in America is against gay people having the same medical directives as straight people.

    I’ll wait your answer.

    Comment by David — April 17, 2010 @ 1:58 am - April 17, 2010

  27. In case you proud gay Republicans don’t know why Obama ordered this directive, leave it to a straight man to bring you up to speed.

    “Lesbian case in Miami highlighted denial of hospital visitation rights”

    http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/dcblog/2010/04/lesbian_case_in_miami_highligh.html

    Comment by David — April 17, 2010 @ 2:04 am - April 17, 2010

  28. In case you proud gay Republicans don’t know why Obama ordered this directive, leave it to a straight man to bring you up to speed.

    Google:

    “Lesbian case in Miami highlighted denial of hospital visitation rights”

    Comment by David — April 17, 2010 @ 2:05 am - April 17, 2010

  29. Obama’s decree that hospitals must now allow patients to say “who can help make medical decisions” makes it sound like nobody ever had that right before he, in his limitless magnanimity, granted it to them. But everyone already has that right, because any competent adult, gay or straight, in any of the 50 states, can already execute a durable power of attorney for health care decisions and also exectute an advance health care directive.

    A durable power of attorney is a legal document in which you say who has the authority to make medical decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated. If you are not incapacitated and you are able to communicate with the hospital staff, then you make your own medical decisions.

    So Obama isn’t giving us anything we don’t already have. What Obama has done is muddy the waters. So my gay partner can now make my medical decisions for me? How does the hospital know who is and who is not my gay partner? Can my boyfriend that I broke up with six months ago and never want near me again come to the hospital, tell them he is my gay partner, and start making my medical decisions?

    Comment by Conservative Guy — April 17, 2010 @ 2:06 am - April 17, 2010

  30. David,

    You’re an anti-American bigot who has no idea of how the real world works. You consider conservative minorities race traitors because you’re a racist. You consider conservative gays to be too stupid for their own good because you’re a homophobe. You are the bile of an ideology without brains. You are the mud the fine men and women of America stand on after a hard day’s work of paying for your right to spew shit like a punctured sewer pipe. There is no worse person in the world than a citizen who hates everyone for how they think. You are a fascist, sir, and you deserve nothing from these people or this country.

    Comment by Jordan — April 17, 2010 @ 2:08 am - April 17, 2010

  31. In their 18 years together, did Janice Langbehn and Lisa Marie Pond execute durable powers of attorney for health care? Did they have wills? They have to take some steps to formalize their relationship, or in the eyes of the law, they have no legal relationship.

    An unmarried straight couple would have the same or similar problems in most jurisdictions. This isn’t about discriminating against gay people, much as the folks on the left just love to see themselves as oppressed victims.

    Comment by Conservative Guy — April 17, 2010 @ 2:17 am - April 17, 2010

  32. What part of “medicare and medicaid” don’t you understand? If a public hospital is receiving public funds, it can’t discriminate. Private hospitals that don’t receive public funds can continue to hate people and their partners, and I hope all of you seek medical care at these facilities, on principal of course, since you hate the “process” of enacting victimless, banal legislation that has absolutely no ill effect on anyone whatsoever.

    This may be the stupidest, most childish blog post I’ve ever read.

    Comment by Zach Sire — April 17, 2010 @ 2:48 am - April 17, 2010

  33. Obie’s numbers have been in the tank…this was nothing more than a bone and a numbers bump for him…had he really given a shit he would have done this much earlier in his term.

    Geez by jumping at this bone/crumb the community looks more like this….

    Oliver!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtZE-srMHAA&feature=related

    Take a friggin stand and tell nimrod that this just isn’t good enough…Through it back at him…and tell him he can and should do BETTER…. go for the whole enchilada….! BY accepting this crumb/bone then you can bet that that’s all he’s ever going to give…maybe that’s ok for some of you here and for the rest of the community…but it’s NOT for me!

    Comment by left leaning lesbian — April 17, 2010 @ 3:03 am - April 17, 2010

  34. This thread is yet more proof that liberals do not care about the means, only the ends and that abuse of power is fine and dandy with them if it gets them what they want.

    In other words, typical regressives.

    Comment by American Elephant — April 17, 2010 @ 3:39 am - April 17, 2010

  35. Patients are ultimately “customers” and “customers” should have the final say.

    Believe it or not, some patients are not gay and have no family but have friends they would like to see if they are in the hospital. They should be allowed to see whomever they want.

    This non-sense of a select group of people fit the criteria to see a patient is ridiculous to begin with.

    So when the HHS Secretary writes up this new “rule” it’s all “political” for “political reasons” and NOT for the genuine interest for the AMERICAN PEOPLE AS A WHOLE.

    Enough with the agendas! If Obama was non-partisan, and cared about EQULITY on this issue, he would simply state the HHS to write a “rule” that A PATIENT cannot be denied to see whomever they want…period.

    If the rule is not written in a way that affects all Americans, then the fact that Obama is playing to a “sexual orientation group” is very political and disturbing, and AGAIN, another politician like Obama is raising these special classes of people above others. He doesn’t think that non-homosexual couples who’ve been together for decades and who have decided not to marry should have the same priviledge as homosexual couples???? He doesn’t think best of friends going back 30 years from high school could have a bond of love and caring and desire the right to see their loved ones in a hospital setting if need be?

    Gimme a break. Write a “rule” that says EVERY patient has the right to see any person they so choose, and hell, if the person is DYING and wants to see thier beloved PET, for god sake, make accomodations for the person to see the pet!!! Isn’t that what quality care is about…what the patient wants????

    This didn’t have to resort at the federal level. It really isn’t a federal issue, this could have been easily resolved at the local and state level, but in my opinion, it doesn’t make a difference who implements it, because it has no negative impact on business, but what bothers me is this new rule does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS who want change in this area and the freedom to see whomever they want in the hospital, if they only carve it out for gays. And if that is the case, Obama’s new rule is for a “special group” and class of people. Oh I hate it when politicians pander to groups giving them greater value. This is how the democratic party is bought and sold, and the “takers” is their base. Oh how selfish we Americans have become. Give me something and I will vote for you. Make me a “special” american and I will vote for you.

    Comment by Cindy — April 17, 2010 @ 5:36 am - April 17, 2010

  36. I have no problem with the process. If private institutions want federal money, then they are bound to follow whatever regulations the federal government imposes as a condition for that funding.

    Comment by libhomo — April 17, 2010 @ 7:55 am - April 17, 2010

  37. Zach, your name-calling becomes you. You may want to make sure to have an extra cup of coffee this morning.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 17, 2010 @ 10:30 am - April 17, 2010

  38. But this policy by Obama is giving individuals the freedom to choose.

    If he left it up to the hospitals, some of them might make policy that doesn’t allow the patients to choose.

    Comment by Mitchell — April 17, 2010 @ 10:31 am - April 17, 2010

  39. It’s not like he’s forcing a private institution to do anything.

    For one thing, hospitals aren’t just a regular business.

    For another thing, this policy doesn’t “impose” anything on hospitals. I mean, it doesn’t make a bit of difference to a hospital who visits as long as the visits are manageable.

    Comment by Mitchell — April 17, 2010 @ 10:33 am - April 17, 2010

  40. Kevin asked — “Hmmmm…..I wonder how y’all feel about Truman’s executive order to desegregate the military.”

    Think it is great, as it is the President acting to regulate the operation of an agency of the executive branch over which he has full authority, not private agencies. In addition, he merely brought its operation into compliance with the provisions of the US Constitution (which limits the activities of government, not private) entities.

    Comment by Rhymes With Right — April 17, 2010 @ 10:35 am - April 17, 2010

  41. David — Let this straight man point out to you the obvious answer to your point. The solution was civil action to require that the hospital carry out the legally binding terms of that legally binding medical directive, not impose a whole new requirement on everyone by executive diktat.

    Comment by Rhymes With Right — April 17, 2010 @ 10:37 am - April 17, 2010

  42. Lets look at this beyond our desires at the moment shall we. They just closed 60 hospitals in this country and you are arguing over who can visit? There will be a shortage of doctors AND there are doctors that have told us they will quit before they participate in this system. What are we arguing about???? We are going to have the IRS going after us to pay for our health care. Oh they can say we are covered, for what??? Where are we going to go? Who will we see for treatment? Now they are saying nurse practitioners will be there to take care of us, really.

    Comment by jann — April 17, 2010 @ 10:38 am - April 17, 2010

  43. I don’t like it when the government mandates a private institution to do anything, but I do like what this mandate accomplishes.

    But what it accomplishes is this: to illegally expand Obama’s authority. Obama had no authority to issue this order. Seizing power in the name of “doing good” is how fascism grows.

    And this particular good didn’t even need doing. How many hospitals in America in 2010 refuses legitimate partner visitation? The *only* result of Obama’s order was expanding his authority.

    With every new [directive or] layer of bureaucracy that is added to the system, consumer choice becomes less and less a factor.

    Exactly. That’s the point. What’s next? An order from Obama that people like apple pie and be nice to their kids?

    Because it would serve His purpose: estaliblishing a reason for government agents to invade the food and family matters of every home. And His acolytes could say “Thank you, Dear Leader, for bringing us family harmony. And apple pie. Neither of which anyone had before Your glorious leadership.” Those are the games here?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 17, 2010 @ 11:47 am - April 17, 2010

  44. (sorry, that was a declaration) Those are the games here.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 17, 2010 @ 11:47 am - April 17, 2010

  45. What part of “medicare and medicaid” don’t you understand? If a public hospital is receiving public funds, it can’t discriminate.

    But the government has so extended its tentacles, the last five decades, that *every* hospital receives some form of public funds.

    What a wonderful game for you, Zach you fascist. If an individual patient takes Medicare or Medicaid, then goes to hospital X for procedure Y, hospital X has now been made to “take public funds” so, in your book, your Dear Leader gets to impose His authority on it. That’s the game. Always expand government’s reach, until nothing is free or private.

    It’s not like he’s forcing a private institution to do anything.

    Everything the government does is force, Mitchell. Government *is* force. And as I was just telling Zack, every hospital takes “public money” in some form – they can’t escape it.

    Perhaps you meant your statement to say that Obama’s order changes nothing in reality (as private insitutions were already allowing partner visitation). In that case, again there was no reason for the order – except to expand Obama’s authority.

    For one thing, hospitals aren’t just a regular business.

    Why not?

    Your statement is true, if it is a statement of literal fact. Government has weighted hospitals with so many burdens and mandates that, in reality, they are not just a regular business. But… that’s a bad thing. We should want to fix it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 17, 2010 @ 12:05 pm - April 17, 2010

  46. As I said elsewhere. I had no problems visiting my partner and having the POA. I didn’t even need to show it, but I gladly provided it. We planned ahead and had that paperwork handy and on file.

    Fortunately she had the DNR order already so I didn’t have to make the painful choice of prolonging her life or not.

    As others have said, this is window dressing. Levi’s just happy that the President is ‘dragigng people into his future.’

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 17, 2010 @ 12:07 pm - April 17, 2010

  47. I could say something, but Tintin at Sadly, No! said it better than I possibly could. http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/30284.html

    Comment by Evan Hurst — April 17, 2010 @ 12:18 pm - April 17, 2010

  48. Obama does something that gives individuals greater liberty and personal freedom yet you complain and call him it fascism …

    Either the Conservative mind has become totally unhinged or you being completely intellectually dishonest.

    Which is it? And which is worse?

    Comment by gillie — April 17, 2010 @ 12:24 pm - April 17, 2010

  49. And there’s gillie’s mistake.

    The Government can’t ‘give freedom’. The Government can only limit it. When Lincoln (and the ‘radical Republicans’ after him) freed the slaves they tore down the government structure that held them in place. When Truman ended the government segregation of the armed forces, he removed the institutions that the government put in place.

    Ordering private businesses to do anything is restricting freedom, not loosening it.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 17, 2010 @ 12:48 pm - April 17, 2010

  50. this is absurd. only a “gay patriot” would express indignation over the loss of a hospital’s “freedom” to discriminate against gay people.

    Comment by Chad — April 17, 2010 @ 12:58 pm - April 17, 2010

  51. I like the original pic of Dan with his nephew. . .although sadlyno raises a question for me. . .how private is a company that seeks, accepts, and uses government monies, grants, etc. . .and yet what would the consumer base of a private company/hospital look like if it couldn’t accept folk on medicare/medicaid or other government assistance?

    Evan thanks. . .was a good chuckle this morning but at the same time I don’t agree with Dan being the ‘——–’ MO. I find GP to be one of the more thought provoking ‘mind stim’ to start out my day.

    Comment by rusty — April 17, 2010 @ 1:00 pm - April 17, 2010

  52. It’s still smart to get it in writing, as smart people have been doing for decades, no matter what Papa Doc says. Take care of yourself. Youy’re still going to have to do that. This proclamation is a big nothing, once again.

    Comment by Charles — April 17, 2010 @ 1:01 pm - April 17, 2010

  53. The fallacy of the conservative mindset is shown again and again

    “The Government can’t ‘give freedom’.”

    It sure the hell can and it can take freedoms away too. Government does this every day for the greater good.

    Speed limits, anti-segregation laws, anti-drug laws, anti-prostitution laws, limits on abortion, limits on cloning, eminent domain…and any place that is “open to the public” has to follow certain rules.

    That is the our society has been, is and will be in the future.

    Comment by gillie — April 17, 2010 @ 1:04 pm - April 17, 2010

  54. Thank you gillie again for showing all the goverment can do is restrict, not give freedom. Every one of those examples is of the government controlling somethng.

    Would you like to post some more examples that prove my point?

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 17, 2010 @ 1:34 pm - April 17, 2010

  55. Don’t confuse an advance (not advanced) health care directive with a durable power of attorney for health care decisions. The health care directive is a statement of your wishes and preferences that is meant to guide the decision making of your attorney-in-fact (the person holding your durable power of attorney for health care). The health care directive is not legally binding. The durable power of attorney is.

    Comment by Conservative Guy — April 17, 2010 @ 1:40 pm - April 17, 2010

  56. But the government has so extended its tentacles, the last five decades, that *every* hospital receives some form of public funds.

    But this decision isn’t socialism: It’s freedom.

    You haven’t even named one problem it will cause.

    “Oh, no, a religious fanatical nurse who has to get involved in everyone else’s business will be offended!”

    Oh, great problem.

    Comment by Mitchell — April 17, 2010 @ 2:14 pm - April 17, 2010

  57. I can name one easy Mitchell,

    How do you restrict someone from seeing an unwell patient? this XO does nothing to affect medical Power of Attourney. If I am incapicated my POA still has power over who can and cannot viist. If I’m unable to designate who can and can’t see me, this will do nothing to allow that additional person in.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 17, 2010 @ 2:19 pm - April 17, 2010

  58. Response to ILoveCapitalism:

    You say that hospitals are “typical businesses” in disagreement with me. Look, a business is something that sells a consumer product to someone for a desire. I mean, food is necessary, but it’s something people buy everyday, and it’s something people buy based on wants. It’s necessary to eat food, but it’s not necessary to eat a specific brand of food.

    Consumer products like iPods are not necessary for anything. Hospitals are not typical businesses in any way, as typical consumer-driven businesses are.

    NEXT, you say that this decision “imposes” something on hospitals, but then you say that it really doesn’t change anything because most hospitals already allow broad visitation rights.

    Well, if that doesn’t just support my point further. My point is that it doesn’t impose any negative effect on anyone. As I said before, opponents critical of the power behind the decision haven’t yet put forth any rational example of what kind of problem this might cause. Tell me what problem it will cause, then I can evaluate whether or not that is actually a potential problem, otherwise I will assume that it will not cause any problems.

    Comment by Mitchell — April 17, 2010 @ 2:21 pm - April 17, 2010

  59. Response to Livewire:

    If you are incapacitated, I think there should be someone vested by you with legal power to make necessary decisions in your interest. Because obviously you wouldn’t be able to make such decisions yourself.

    I haven’t read the text of Obama’s directive, nor would I be able to understand all the legalese, so I don’t know how this directive affects people’s abilities to make decisions via proxy.

    Comment by Mitchell — April 17, 2010 @ 2:25 pm - April 17, 2010

  60. This may be the stupidest, most childish blog post I’ve ever read.

    You clearly haven’t been reading Moonbattery then. I consider GayPatriot to be reasonable by comparison.

    It’s interesting to compare GayPatriot to Moonbattery. Because on the one hand I see this and on the other I see this. Yet when you get off the issue of homosexuality, I think the two sides in this would agree on damn near anything.

    So conservatives are surprisingly tolerant of homosexuals, and conservatives have an unreasonable hatred of homosexuals. I’m not sure what to get out of this.

    Comment by Serenity — April 17, 2010 @ 2:42 pm - April 17, 2010

  61. The latest news item out of Barack Obama explains a lot about the hate gays like Evan Hurst and tintin.

    Apparently, Barack Obama considers it a bad and horrible thing for someone to say that another person is gay.

    When you realize how Evan Hurst and his friend “tintin” are having to every day repeat hallelujahs and worships to the Black Messiah who is screaming to the media that publishing the fact that a Supreme Court justice nominee is gay makes her look unqualified and unfit, you can understand that they have a lot of bottled-up anger that they have to project onto other people like GPW.

    The story goes that slaves who were afraid to leave the plantation were always the loudest in attacking free black people. Evan Hurst and tintin are plantation slaves, know it, and lack the courage to renounce their liberal brainwashing that any criticism of a black person makes you a racist. Hence, they have to take it out on everyone else.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 17, 2010 @ 5:09 pm - April 17, 2010

  62. Unfortunately, Serenity, gay liberals like yourself have already demonstrated that you fully support and endorse politicians who support amendments banning gay-sex marriage.

    In short, you’re not opposed to bans on gay-sex marriage. Indeed, you and your gay-sex liberal friends given money and endorsements to politicians who support these bans and who, like Barack Obama, say that marriage is a “sacred bond” between a man and a woman.

    Why don’t you try some intellectual consistency? If supporting gay marriage bans and the politicians who support them means you hate gays, why are you a gay-hater? If it doesn’t, then why are you claiming that people who do hate gays?

    Your problem is simply that you lack the ability to think beyond your bigotry and prejudice about conservatives.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 17, 2010 @ 5:15 pm - April 17, 2010

  63. I will benefit from this policy change; however…

    Just imagine if Medicare did not exist, and the government did not issue marriage licenses; then hospitals would be allowed to come up with their own policies which would be in large part based on consumer wants & needs instead of what the government thought we should have.

    Comment by James Younce — April 17, 2010 @ 6:08 pm - April 17, 2010

  64. I don’t care who is a democrat and who is a republican, who is a liberal and who is a conservative- those terms mean absolutely garbage to me.

    What concerns me is situations like one reported here – http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/06/27/2279.

    It doesn’t matter if a hundred of the above commenters were able to visit their dying partner in the hospital in the backwater towns of the Deep South without a hitch. As long as this still happens at any time, in any place, an injustice is being done.

    As long as people still see us as an “other” and fear that letting us see our dying partners will give everyone in the hospital AIDS and let pedophiles have protection for their “orientation,” the free market will not work. Human dignity should never ever be taken to a vote.

    I loathed Dubya; I’m sure many here loved him. But if he had made the same executive order, I would have supported that decision whole-heartedly. I wouldn’t have forgiven the other things he had done that I oppose, but this I would have supported. And it seems that many right-wing blogs have done the same. Except for this one.

    Comment by Emily K — April 17, 2010 @ 7:18 pm - April 17, 2010

  65. “Just imagine if Medicare did not exist, and the government did not issue marriage licenses; then hospitals would be allowed to come up with their own policies which would be in large part based on consumer wants & needs instead of what the government thought we should have.”

    James, that sounds very good to me.

    Comment by Lori Heine — April 17, 2010 @ 7:50 pm - April 17, 2010

  66. So conservatives are surprisingly tolerant of homosexuals, and conservatives have an unreasonable hatred of homosexuals.

    You think conservatives hate homosexuals because of a happy dancing kitty? How pathetic. I’m pretty sure GoY aka V the K doesn’t hate homos. I think he just values marriage. There’s a difference you know.

    Please stop embarrassing the gay community with your victimhood and your simple mind.

    Comment by American Elephant — April 17, 2010 @ 8:15 pm - April 17, 2010

  67. I’m laughing about the libtards whining about us right wing extremist gay people who hate ourselves. Let’s deal in reality here. While all the lefty gays are rapturous over this MEMO, I am not fooled. It is a freaking memo, not even an Executive Order. And if you read through to the end, the memo reminds us that it is worthless and grants nothing. The visitation thing is a red herring anyway. What gay person here would stand by and let themselves be kept from the love of their life? They better have a lot of security to block me out of the room.

    Comment by FreedomsWings — April 17, 2010 @ 9:15 pm - April 17, 2010

  68. 10. The military is a part of the executive branch. Hospitals are not. Presidents have constitutional authority over the executive branch.

    Comment by William — April 17, 2010 @ 9:46 pm - April 17, 2010

  69. The issue at hand has two parts.
    1) in the absence of a written health care directive from the patient, when there are conflicting desires between a domestic partner and blood relatives, who gets the final say.

    2) was it such a widespread problem that an EO was needed? In spite of scare stories saying it is, I’m not so sure it happened very much.

    It plays something to each side. Gay marriage opponents can point to this as another reason to deny same-sex unions. “Why do you need marriage? Nobody’s denying your right to help determine your partner’s medical decisions.” Gay and pro-gay Americans can point to this as an example of Pres. Obama’s advocacy of gay issues.

    Meanwhile, the real-world effect is virtually nil.

    Comment by William — April 17, 2010 @ 9:53 pm - April 17, 2010

  70. FreedomsWings,

    I’m sure that said hospital security, once they successfully bully you out of the hospital for disturbing the peace, will have you arrested by the local un-sympathetic police, where you will be in a jail cell while your partner lays dying. And your children, (should you have them, and should they be unrelated to the dying parent by blood,) will be left with strangers to care for them during that time as their parent lays dying.

    Comment by Emily K — April 17, 2010 @ 10:14 pm - April 17, 2010

  71. When “said hospital security” does that, how about if the media is alerted and people lose their jobs? Why is it that everything must be done by Big Daddy Government? Have the American people really become such blithering half-wits that we can no longer stand up for ourselves?

    The loons on the left keep screaming about “eight years of George W. Bush,” but they have very clearly learned NOTHING from those years. Big government can be turned against those who hide in its shadow in the space of a single election.

    What happens if a future president hands down an edict stripping same-sex couples of all the wonderful rights Obama has bestowed upon them? If you say that could never happen, you’re living in a dream world.

    Comment by Lori Heine — April 18, 2010 @ 4:21 am - April 18, 2010

  72. If I had my druthers, I would say executive orders should be limited to directly effecting the function of the Executive branch? Directly, not tangentially, like politicians unfortunately use the “Interstate Commerce clause’

    Hence, desegregating the Military – a group under direct control of the executive branch – is in. Dictating what a hospital can and cannot do? Not so much.

    Comment by Ryan — April 18, 2010 @ 7:03 am - April 18, 2010

  73. Why do horrible disgusting things like this keep happening? What is wrong with humanity? And this is in Cali, NOT small-town Alabama.

    http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issue_caseDocket_Greene_v_County_of_Sonoma_et_al

    Comment by Emily K — April 18, 2010 @ 10:36 pm - April 18, 2010

  74. Emily, darling, that case is exactly what you wanted.

    Two people had the government make life or death decisions for them, confiscate their property, and sell it to pay for it.

    This is liberal paradise. What are you complaining about? You and yours have long since been stating that the government should confiscate private property. You and yours have long since been stating that the government should make health care decisions for you. And you and yours have long since been stating that the government should be the ultimate arbiter of whether you have a relationship or not.

    Or were you expecting that OTHER people would have their property confiscated, their health care controlled, and their relationships voided, and you and yours would get away scot-free?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 18, 2010 @ 11:45 pm - April 18, 2010

  75. [...] have devoted the least amount of attention which elicit the greatest amount of controversy.  I had posted on the president’s hospital visitation order, in large measure, because my take nearly perfectly paralleled that of a the left-leaning lesbian [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Further Thoughts on the Hospital Visitation Issue — April 19, 2010 @ 4:18 am - April 19, 2010

  76. David, when you write, “I knew you’d be against whatever Obama does so I wasn’t surprised,” you make clear your prejudice against gay conservatives and your ignorance of my writing.

    While I did indeed express skepticism in this post to Obama’s commitment to repealing DADT, in the past, I have praised him for the manner in which he has pushed for repeal.

    You’d know that if you read this blog — or checked our archives

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 19, 2010 @ 4:40 am - April 19, 2010

  77. [...] comment to my firsts post on Obama’s memorandum on hospital visitation, David wrote, “I knew you’d be against whatever Obama does so I wasn’t surprised.”  Wonder how he knew that?  Must not have been from checking our archives where I praised [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » The Prejudices of Our Critics — April 19, 2010 @ 7:36 pm - April 19, 2010

  78. North Dallas Thirty,

    You have no idea what “I” and “mine” are.

    Here’s a clue to help you in the right direction, though: I’m registered to vote as “unaffiliated.”

    What I see is an elderly couple who obtained all the right paperwork and had everything taken from underneath them by crooked people who ignored parts of our legal system that they chose to ignore. One man is now dead, died alone without his partner by his side, who lost everything except that which the dying partner created for him outside his home.

    Now, if all you can take away from that is a strawman about how “I and mine” (whoever that is) agree that this is some kind of “nanny state paradise” that “I and mine” (who, again?) want… that’s a real shame.

    Because the first thing I thought of when I read that article is how must this man be coping with the loss of everything by people in every corner of his life that refused to help at all.

    The first thing that YOU thought of was “obviously there must be some way I can prove this was cooked up by the ‘other side.’ ”

    These are human beings, and all you see are pawns in a bizarre political argument you want to have with me.

    I am officially creeped out by you and by this website. This is extremely disturbing for anybody of any affiliation.

    Even “no affiliation.”

    Comment by Emily K — April 19, 2010 @ 11:13 pm - April 19, 2010

  79. What I see is an elderly couple who obtained all the right paperwork and had everything taken from underneath them by crooked people who ignored parts of our legal system that they chose to ignore.

    Correction. What you see is the complaint, not a statement of fact or final judgment. It comes only from the plaintiff, with no evidence or testimony from the other side. It is completely one-sided, and is in fact designed to only present one side of the story.

    But of course, since a gay or lesbian person filed it, it must be absolutely correct. Everyone else is wrong; the gay and lesbian person is always right, no matter what.

    You are creepy, EmilyK. Your sexual orientation so controls you that you can’t comprehend that another gay or lesbian person could make a mistake or be wrong. You judge solely by minority status and have no room whatsoever for consideration of any facts. All you care about is sexual orientation. You have condemned and found guilty people based solely on the testimony of one gay/lesbian person without any chance to present contrary information.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 20, 2010 @ 12:07 am - April 20, 2010

  80. [...] until last week, I was pretty confident we would see Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) repealed this year. [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » No Action on DADT in 2010 — April 21, 2010 @ 5:18 pm - April 21, 2010

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