A lot of discussion has gone on about Friday's headline: Obama extends health care rights to gay partners
On its face, this headline is misleading... health care rights were not extended by the president's order. The word rights is being tossed around so often that it's meaning is being diluted. Specifically, according AP:
So there was no designation of health care rights for anyone... what the order does do is streamline the process to permit a patent's visitors getting access to the patients bedside. And that, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Specifically, during an illness or recovery from an accident, having a loved one nearby is often as good or even better medicine than any of the wonders of modern medicine. Naturally, hospitals have a vested interest in limiting who and how many visitors may be bedside, according to staffing, patient count, and the severity of the patients illness. But the overall question of a significant-other or other officially designated person being able to go bedside is not in question, nor should it ever be so.
However last night I questioned how President Obama could force a hospital extend/deny anything to anyone... he is Commander in Chief, but there are limits to his executive powers. And on this point I am still unsure where his authority to issue such an order comes from.
My initial response was that question raised a fair point, but that I know gay couples who have POAs and who have not encountered visitation problems. But that issue was completely besides the point I was raising regarding a very-probable abuse of power by President Obama (at least in my opinion).
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