Oppose rule change

A proposed rule change currently being considered in Washington, D.C., by the Office of Management and Budget would restrict doctors and other healthcare providers from giving needed information to their patients. This rule would prohibit doctors and nurses from providing their patients with information concerning their options when it comes to family planning. The fact that restricting healthcare providers from disseminating truthful medical information to their patients is even under consideration is disturbing.

This proposed rule change is a direct assault on organizations that provide healthcare through the Title X program. This includes Planned Parenthood, which provides healthcare to about 1.6 million people who receive services through the Title X program. The Title X program was created by Congress to ensure that every person regardless of income or if they have health insurance has access to basic, preventive reproductive healthcare such as birth control, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infections testing and well-woman exams. About two-thirds of the people who receive services under Title X fall below the federal poverty level and nearly half lack any form of insurance.

My mother was a doctor here in Wood County for more than half a century. I believe I understand a bit about the mindset of those in the medical profession. In general, medical professionals do no want politicians telling them what they can and cannot say to their patients when it comes to healthcare. This is a violation of the doctor patient relationship, as what providers discuss with their patients should be between them and those patients.

I hope that Sen. Joe Manchin and the rest of our elected officials will do what they can to oppose this proposed rule change that will negatively affect the delivery of healthcare in our state.

Walt Auvil



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