From The WaPo: “President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients’ choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.”
“The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.”
Now, I do not want to get into the merits of what Obama mandated. What concerns me is the power that he is wielding. Who died and made him Emperor? The President of the United States has the power to enact laws that affect nearly every hospital in America?
Do not fall into the mistake of thinking, “hey, this is a great mandate! I’m glad he did it! It’s about time!” Whether it is a good mandate or a bad one is in the eyes of the beholder, and depends upon whose ox is being gored. Next time he might mandate that all white people have to be placed on a waiting list if there are shortages of rooms at hospitals, so that minorities have first crack at treatment. Okay–dumb hypothetical–but giving any one person that much power is wrong, in my opinion.
This is a republican Republic, where we have a representative form of democracy. Or it is supposed to be. The legislators enact the laws. If this mandate is so wonderful, and if it is about time, then the legislators should have done it long ago. Just bypassing the legislative process and enacting sweeping change without any official vote on this or anything major violates our form of government. The President is our Commander in Chief, not our Chief Hospital Administrator.
This is just my (John Doe) opinion. What’s yours’?