Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against HHS Secretary over Race-Based Medical Care

MAY 04: U.S. Secretary of the Department Of Health And Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Thursday against Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra over the agency’s “anti-racism” plan that injects “race-based decision making into our health care system.”

The lawsuit, which also names Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Chiquita Brooks-Lasure, was filed by Mississippi doctor Amber Colville and Kentucky doctor Ralph Alvarado. The attorneys general of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and Montana have also joined the suit.

“[D]istinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality,” the lawsuit opens, quoting case law.

As Breitbart News reported, HHS encourages health care providers to conduct a “clinic-wide review of existing tools and policies, such as value statements or clinical practice guidelines, to ensure that they include and are aligned with a commitment to anti-racism and an understanding of race as a political and social construct, not a physiological one.”

The federal government also offers financial incentives to health care providers who implement critical race theory-based policies at their practices, including, in some cases, racial prioritization for receiving medical help.

Becerra appears to have misled Congress about his agency’s policies, maintaining that “we don’t have a policy as you’ve described” despite the fact that the policy is published in the Federal Register.

“Unlike any prior administration, the Biden administration has sided with critical race scholars over the law,” the lawsuit charges. “The administration is injecting the terms ‘antiracism’ and ‘equity’ into various agency regulations, knowing full well what those terms of art mean—even citing Kendi himself in the Federal Register.”

“Now the administration is injecting these concepts into the one area where they belong the least: medicine,” it continues.

Referring to the Federal Register “anti-racism” rule, the lawsuit claims it encourages “doctors to elevate race over medical treatment in violation of our nation’s core principles, but it violates the law.”

“CMS’s rule encourages doctors to go against the principle of racial equality embodied in the Declaration, guaranteed by the Constitution, protected by federal law, and enforced by the Supreme Court,” the lawsuit continues. “It encourages doctors to elevate faddish theories about race above patient care. It is unlawful, unreasoned, and un-American.”

The doctor plaintiffs say the rule puts them at a direct disadvantage to their competitors because they refuse to implement the race-based policies the government would pay them more for having.

In an op-ed written by plaintiff Alvarado, the doctor describes his reasoning for bringing suit.

“I’ve never had a patient ask about my race in my 24 years of practicing medicine,” he wrote. “But the Biden administration wants me to fixate on the race of my patients.”

“In February a colleague told me there was a new way to boost my Medicare reimbursement rate,” he continued. “I did some digging and discovered that to get the bonus, I’d have to embrace ideas wholly at odds with my oaths as a doctor.”

“The more I read, the more disturbed I became. I’m supposed to use a ‘disparities impact statement’ provided by Washington,” Alvarado wrote. “It asks: ‘What population(s) will you prioritize?’ That question makes no sense in medicine. My role as a physician is to care for the patient I’m treating, not a ‘population.'”

Do No Harm, a group that started to combat such policies, is also supporting the lawsuit, with chairman Dr. Stanley Goldfarb saying in a press release, “this is another example of a discriminatory and illegal policy advocated by the likes of Ibram X. Kendi being imposed on our health care system.”

“These ‘anti-racism plans’ erode trust in medical professionals and will undermine the health and wellbeing of all patients,” he continued.

The lawsuit is Colville v. Becerra, No. 1:22cv113 TBM-RPM, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.