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Citing 'Midnight Rules' to Erode Health and Safety, Nurses Unveil New Website to Send Bush Packing

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As President Bush seeks to push through a flurry of new regulations, many of which will especially adversely impact healthcare services and workplace safety, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today unveiled a new website inviting web browsers to help "send Bush packing,"

The site offers an interactive game highlighting some of the "midnight rules" -- last minute regulatory changes -- the Bush administration is seeking to cement in place in its waning days.

CNA/NNOC is inviting those who visit the website and play the game to sign an online petition to Bush to "tell him to do no more harm and rescind the rules that undermine our healthcare, public protections, and workplace safety."

Healthcare, workplace safety, and environmental protections are major targets of the proposed rule changes, "many of which could seriously undermine access to care, workplace safety and workers' rights, and the environmental safeguards Americans depend on," said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

"On Nov. 4, American voters send an emphatic signal that they want change from the policies of the past eight years. It is disgraceful that the Bush administration wants to squeeze in even more of its rejected practices in its final hours in office," DeMoro said.

Some national pundits have said it is time for President Bush to get off the world stage. New York Times columnist Gail Collins wrote Nov. 22, "Can I see a show of hands? How many people want George W. out and Barack in?"

One day later, columnist Thomas Friedman sounded a similar note: "If I had my druthers right now we would convene a special session of Congress, amend the Constitution, and move up the inauguration from Jan. 20 to Thanksgiving Day."

Among the new regulations:

-- A reduction in outpatient services for low-and moderate-income people covered under Medicaid, likely to mean cuts in such basics as dental and vision care, diagnostic screenings for children, and lab and ambulance services.

-- Reduced access for reproductive and family planning care through a new rule permitting workers to refuse to perform abortions, dispense birth control pills, or even provide emergency contraception in rape cases.

-- More stringent rules on employees' use of the Family and Medical Leave Act which allows workers to take unpaid leave to take care of sick family members.

-- Revised Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations that make it more difficult to limit on-the-job exposure to toxic chemicals.

-- Numerous environmental changes that would permit oil and gas leases on public lands, more air pollution near national parks and forests, increased dumping by mining companies into streams, and erosion of the Endangered Species Act.

SOURCE California Nurses Association
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