Reps. Jason Smith (R-MO) and Gary Palmer (R-AL) are leading a charge against Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra after he “spread misinformation to the American people” about the government incentivizing doctors to provide race-based medical care.
“We write to express our deep disappointment with your testimony … where you twice denied the existence of a rule to incentivize physician practices to implement so-called ‘anti-racism’ plans,” a letter provided exclusively to Breitbart News states. “Rather than giving us answers about why your department is encouraging these prejudicial practices, you instead spread misinformation to the American people.”
The letter comes after Becerra repeatedly testified before Congress that the federal government does not doctors to implement “anti-racism” policies in exchange for more government funding.
The incentive structure — which also calls on physicians to define race as a “a political and social construct, not a physiological one” — was, in fact, published in the Federal Register. Becerra continues to deny its existence, however, and testified to Palmer that HHS “does not have a policy as [he] described” and that the premise of the Alabama Republican’s question was “driven by mis- and disinformation.”
“The Biden Administration has decided to force doctors to implement a radical political ideology under the guise of improving patient care,” Smith said in a press release first given to Breitbart News. “The fact of the matter is that under this new rule, doctors will be forced to incorporate a political agenda into their practices that not only dismisses medical facts, but seeks to indoctrinate physicians. It speaks volumes that instead of defending this rule in public testimony, Secretary Becerra instead chose to deny its existence and obfuscate the truth. When it comes to health care, we need doctors focused on caring for patients, not on woke activism.”
“This measure would have a higher rating than the one given for crafting personalized mental health plans for patients, making timely cancer diagnoses, and even managing a patient’s medication so that they do not die on the surgical table during invasive surgery, just to name a few,” Smith and Palmer’s letter continues. “Many Americans would be shocked to learn the priority you are placing on doctors adopting your political ideology.”
“Based on your on-the-record denials of this measure’s existence, we are forced to conclude that you are either unaware of your own department’s activity or intentionally obfuscating about this activity to hide a radical political agenda from the American people,” the congressmen write. “Either action on your part is completely unacceptable.”
But “since [his] public testimony was clearly incorrect,” Smith and Palmer ask six clarifying questions:
- By adopting an anti-racism plan that denies physiological differences between different races, will physician practices be penalized if they screen for race in order to treat patients for diseases and disorders that are highly correlated with race?
- How does your department justify implementing anti-racism plans to deliver better quality care in lieu of incorporating evidence-based medicine when treating patients of different races?
- Does your department acknowledge how this measure forces physicians to knowingly violate existing state and federal law?
- Has your department conducted an analysis of how many paperwork hours completing this measure would impose on participating practices?
- Does your department plan to review the effectiveness of this measure with a meaningful outcomes-based study or merely reward physicians for hollowly participating?
- How does your department plan to assess compliance with this measure? Will your department further promulgate how these anti-racism plans should be crafted? Will clinicians have to develop the plans themselves, detracting from time otherwise spent treating patients? Or will they be forced to rely on unproven “anti-racism” consultants to develop plans to be in compliance with this measure?
“We trust that after multiple letters to your department, lines of questioning under oath — not to mention a lawsuit filed last week — you are now profoundly familiar with the existence of this measure,” the letter concludes.
“The Biden Administration’s policies have already created a crisis of confidence among Americans,” Palmer said in the press release. “Now, they are trying to implement a rule that could result in racial discrimination. This rule will further undermine patient confidence in our health care system by incentivizing a form of discrimination that gives preferential treatment based on misguided racial guidelines. Secretary Becerra owes the American people answers considering he has openly denied this plan existed even though his agency issued the rule last year.”
As Breitbart News reported, a federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against HHS over the race-based incentive structure, with two doctors — joined by eight states — suing the agency.
“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.
“At the very least, Secretary Becerra was spinning in response to questions about the existence of this program,” Protect the Public’s Trust Director Michael Chamberlain told Breitbart News. “If the facts emerge to indicate he was aware of it before his testimony, which is not out of the realm of possibility since it was created in response to an Executive Order, that spinning could have crossed the line into something much more serious, including a potential violation of the False Statements Act.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.