The government finally seems to be making progress in its efforts to stem the foreclosure crisis. Housing and Urban Development officials say lenders extended loan-modification offers to 40,000 borrowers who were struggling to pay their mortgage in the second week of June. That is nearly triple the weekly average of about 15,000 workouts that loan servicers had extended in the prior 10 weeks since the government’s latest foreclosure-prevention plan was announced.
An organization of Christian physicians argued Wednesday against an impending rollback of a federal rule allowing health care workers to refuse to provide certain reproductive services, saying it’s discriminatory.
The Obama administration plans to reverse a regulation from late in the Bush administration allowing health-care workers to refuse to provide services based on moral objections, an official said Friday. The Provider Refusal Rule was proposed by the Bush White House in August and enacted on January 20, the day President Barack Obama took office. It expanded on a 30-year-old law establishing a “conscience clause” for “health-care professionals who don’t want to perform abortions.” Under the rule, workers in health-care settings — from doctors to janitors — can refuse to provide services, information or advice to patients on subjects such as contraception, family planning, blood transfusions and even vaccine counseling if they are morally against it.