Race Medicine: ‘Health Equity’ Pushes Medical Care Toward Racial Preferences

in hospital
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A movement to embed racial preferences in medical care is taking root in the industry under the guise of “health equity.”

An outgrowth of critical race theory, the “health equity” initiative appears intent on pushing toward a retribution-oriented system that provides medical care to persons based on race rather than need.

One organization, called the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), is working to embed the theory into our healthcare system at the state level, while the federal government, associations of doctors, and medical schools are working from their angles to ensure the ideology becomes common practice among American doctors.

The National Academy for State Health Policy

The organization published a brief titled “State Strategies to Increase Diversity in the Behavioral Health Workforce.” The brief “explores existing state strategies that target increasing engagement of BIPOC across the workforce.”

The brief suggested that states “create a more culturally inclusive workplace for BIPOC professionals,” including by mandating diversity trainings for those working in healthcare.

NASHP encouraged states, professional associations, and healthcare organizations to “consider continuing education requirements.” They explained, “Licensing boards and professional organizations play a critical role in increasing the diversity and cultural competency.”

The organization pointed to states that require “cultural competency continuing education” for social workers such as Rhode Island, which requires three hours of “cross cultural practice to include alleviation of oppression.”

It adds “Oregon’s health regulatory boards, for example, all have regulatory authority to require cultural competence training for licensed providers.”

NASHP also says to “Require culturally competent supervision for peers.” It once again cites Oregon, saying that their training includes material on the “experiences, oppression, institutional, and judicial bias experienced by vulnerable populations” 

In addition, the brief also encourages that different branches and state agencies work in unison to implement a “health equity” agenda.” It cites Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who “tasked that state’s Workforce Board with developing a Behavioral Health Workforce Assessment.” The brief explains that “The report and updated 2020 recommendations focus on the role of background checks in behavioral health employment as having an inequitable impact on welcoming BIPOC providers to the field.”

The National Academy for State Health Policy hosted a conference which included an agenda item titled “Changing Tides: Investing in Equity.” The description of the conversation reads:

With so many resources coming to states, are they strategically investing in equity? In this session, state leaders will discuss state legislation and executive action taken to advance health equity. The discussion will highlight best practices to coordinate and invest in health equity efforts across the state, as informed by the community.

Another discussion, titled “Exploring State-Funded Coverage Expansions: An Interagency State-Only Discussion,” addressed the goal of providing state-funded healthcare to illegal immigrants and others who are not citizens.

“Affordable, state-funded coverage options for low-income individuals who do not qualify for federally-funded health coverage programs based on their immigration status,” is “one of the biggest barriers to achieving universal coverage,” the description claims.

The conference was attended by leftist academics including India Ornelas, the Interim Chair of the University of Washington Department of Health Systems and Population Health, as well as Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, an associate professor of sociology at Missouri State.

The organization’s leadership has several ties to Democrat politicians. Inslee gave a welcome speech at their recent conference.

Patricia Riley, a current board member and former executive director of NASHP, worked as the Director of Health Policy and Finance in the office of John Baldacci, the former Democrat governor of Maine.

Ellen Schneiter, the organization’s Deputy Director, was previously the Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the State of Maine under the same administration.

Sandra Wilkniss, the senior director of the organization’s Population and Public Health team, previously worked for two Democrat Senators on matters pertaining to health.

Jennifer Laudano, the organization’s senior director of communications and community engagement, previously worked for Families USA, which advocated for Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, as well as NARAL Pro-Choice America, a non profit organization dedicated to advocating for abortion.

NASHP has received millions of dollars from Arnold Ventures a firm run by John Arnold, a billionaire who has also dedicated millions of dollars to leftist criminal justice reform. Arnold Ventures has specifically donated to the Center for Health Policy, a program of NASHP.

NASHP explains that “The Center for Health Policy Development (CHPD) is the official non-profit corporation that assures the independence of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and supports its work.”

Arnold Ventures has also given roughly $1.5 million to the Center for American Progress (CAP), a leftist public policy research and advocacy organization founded by Democrat operative John Podesta, who is currently a Senior Advisor to President Biden.

Arnold Ventures’s largest donation to CAP provided $500,000 to “advance policy ideas to reduce health care costs and improve the quality of care.”

CAP’s website notes the organization “applies a racial equity lens in developing and advancing policies that root out deeply entrenched systemic racism.” CAP also claims that “Structural racism causes inequities in health systems and disparities in health outcomes.”

NASHP appears to be involved in recruiting candidates for various jobs in professional associations, healthcare organizations, and state governments. One job listing, which has been removed, was titled “Health Equity Policy Section Manager.” The job was with the Wisconsin Office of Health Equity, which aims to “integrate a health equity lens throughout” the Wisconsin Department of Health. 

The State Push for Race-Based Medicine

Racially discriminatory policies have already been proposed or implemented in a number of different states under the guise of health equity.

One report from the Washington Free Beacon (WFB) found Utah public health officials brazenly discriminated against white people in their system for prioritizing coronavirus patients.

WFB reported Utah’s points-based system “allocated more points for being non-white than for having congestive heart failure.” If Utahans did not score high enough in the point system, they were not eligible to receive monoclonal antibodies. 

It was not just Utah that engaged in anti-white discrimination in the healthcare system, however. Another report from the WFB found that similar policies were in place in both New York and Minnesota. 

But while the guidance was in place, white patients were actually dying of coronavirus at a higher rate than were non-white people.

In New York, one of the eligibility criteria for receiving “extremely limited” antivirals to fight coronavirus was one’s identification as “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.” Meanwhile in Minnesota, health officials created an “ethical framework” that prioritized black 18-year-olds over white 64-year-olds.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that his administration would work to provide health care coverage specifically to black residents of the state. “Well, as I’ve been listening and as I’ve been trying to hear from those who have been giving voice on inequality, it is that it’s time to give prioritization in black and African-American communities, so we are going to do that,” Beshear remarked.

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (WDHS) has an Office of Health Equity (OHE), which works to “integrate a health equity lens throughout” the whole department. They also note that one of their goals is to “achieve long-lasting and equitable health outcomes.”

Their website also says that the WDHS commits “to identifying, dismantling, and improving institutional structures that inflict and ignore racism, discrimination, and trauma among marginalized communities and centering our work around our core values.”

The Federal Push for Race-Based Medicine

The federal government is a major player in pushing “health equity” in its own healthcare capacity as well as encouraging doctors, hospitals, and schools through monetary incentive to take on the practice as well.

Trickling down from a day-one Executive Order signed by President Joe Biden, the ideology became the standard at many agencies.

The order states, in part, “Our country faces converging economic, health, and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, while a historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism.”

One such agency is the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), headed by Secretary Xavier Becerra, which houses the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

In line with Biden’s Executive Order, CMS has a policy aimed at incentivizing doctors implement “anti-racism” policies in exchange for more government funding.

Volume 86 of the Federal Register, under a section called “New Improvement Activity” with the subcategory “Achieving Health Equity” and the “Activity Title” of “Create and Implement an Anti-Racism Plan,” states the following:

Create and implement an anti-racism plan using the CMS Disparities Impact Statement or other anti-racism planning tools. The plan should include 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. [Emphasis added].

The plan would use the CMS Disparities Impact Statement, a tool for “all health care stakeholders to achieve health equity for racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, individuals with limited English proficiency, and rural populations.”

The policy became the center of contention with Becerra gave false testimony to Congress regarding the existence of such an incentive structure.

Becerra was pressed on administration policies like paying doctors more money if they create an “anti-racism” plan that included a “clinic-wide review” of doctor ideology, including their “commitment to anti-racism.”

When Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) questioned Becerra on the policies, the HHS secretary replied, “We don’t have a policy as you’ve described. Our policy is to try to tackle the disparities that we see in healthcare access.”

He also claimed the premise of Palmer’s question was “driven by mis- and disinformation.”

Becerra doubled down the next day, which prompted Reps. Palmer and Jason Smith (R-MO) to seek clarification from Becerra about his false testimony.

“Rather than giving us answers about why your department is encouraging these prejudicial practices, you instead spread misinformation to the American people,” Palmer and Smith wrote.

In a further attempt to find answers about whether Becerra knew he gave false testimony to Congress, government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) sought Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the department.

PPT’s FOIA request included all records with “anti-racism” or “antiracism” in them connected to Becerra, Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, and HHS Chief of Staff Sean McCluskie.

Thus far, HHS has refused to comply with PPT’s request, which prompted the watchdog to file a lawsuit against the agency in order to force them to hand over the information.

The HHS secretary has pinpointed “health equity” as one of his department’s top priorities, saying, “Health equity has to be part of everything we do. You will see health equity pervades everything we do.”

Such a focus has brought a federal civil rights lawsuit — Colville v. Becerra — against the department over injecting “race-based decision making into our health care system.” It has been joined by at least eight state attorneys general.

“[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.

“Unlike any prior administration, the Biden administration has sided with critical race scholars over the law,” it 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.”

HHS is not the only agency aiding in the race-essentialist effort at the federal level. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) also answered Biden’s call to orient themselves toward race in the distribution of medical treatment.

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC embraced critical race theory language, saying, “Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some rural residents at increased risk of getting or having severe illness from COVID-19.”

Much of the push from the CDC was an attempt to get as many persons vaccinated as possible. The vaccine distribution was seen by the department as needing to be race-oriented because fewer non-white persons were getting the vaccine.

The VA took it several steps further, actually prioritizing non-white veterans over white veterans, citing “social injustices” and “lifetime social disadvantages experienced by persons of color.”

“These individuals, along with others who are at risk for suffering serious or fatal illness due to the presence of comorbidities, will be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine per the allocation plan as a consequence of risk factors,” the VA said.

An article from Breitbart News revealed that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) compiled a “DEI Resources” page that promoted Critical Race Theory and encouraged people to read Ibram X. Kendi.

A document, which has now been removed from the site and was titled “Guidance for Improving Staff Engagement,” instructed staff to take an implicit bias test. It also argued that “BIPOC staff” are traumatized on a daily basis when people refer to protests as riots or use the phrase “all lives matter.”

“Health Equity” as a Prerequisite to Becoming a Doctor

Accepting “health equity” as gospel has also become a prerequisite to getting into medical school and becoming a doctor.

As Breitbart News reported, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released new standards for teaching medicine that require students to achieve “competencies” in “white privilege,” “anti-colonialism,” and “race as a social construct,” among other race-essentialist ideas.

Using similar language to the federal government in their justification, the AAMC stated “Since the founding of the United States, there have been systemic health and health care inequities grounded in racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and other forms of discrimination that still permeate our current health system.”

Incoming and current medical students must, therefore, demonstrate the “value of diversity by incorporating dimensions of diversity into the patient’s health assessment and treatment plan” as well as “knowledge of the intersectionality of a patient’s multiple identities and how each identity may result in varied and multiple forms of oppression or privilege related to clinical decisions and practice.”

The AAMC has a significant amount of power in its ability to force the ideology on would-be doctors, as the organization has some control over the accreditation process for medical schools.

Furthermore, the organization administers the MCAT — the medical school admissions exam — where it can force medical students to be learned in the ideology at risk of failing and being unable to be accepted into medical schools.

These ideas have already taken root at many of America’s medical schools.

Indeed, 72 percent of America’s top medical schools use racial politics to eliminate applicants, in part by asking “probing questions to elicit responses from the applicant about his or her views on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.”

In effect, these schools are creating an ideological litmus test on race as a means to weed out potentially good, but not ideologically aligned doctors.

There is also a focus on replacing or redefining the Hippocratic Oath in order to inject race politics.

As Breitbart News reported, students at the University of Minnesota medical school recently pledged fealty to the ideology in a public and anti-science display.

The students pledged to “honor all indigenous ways of healing historically marginalized by Western medicine” and fight “white supremacy, colonialism, gender binary, ableism and all forms of oppression” — a move that has many questioning whether the university is embracing shamanism as equally legitimate to Western science.

University media relations manger Kat Dodge said the  students were “build[ing] upon the intent of the Hippocratic Oath.”

Such professions, however, have clear and significant implications for medical treatment in the United States, as race will clearly be top-of-mind for many doctors moving into the future — whether they agree ideologically or not, as the threat of having one’s license revoked looms.

Even more radical is the group “White Coats for Black Lives” (WC4BL) — a student and faculty group intent on uprooting all just medical norms and replacing them with left-wing racial prescriptions.

The radical socialist organization is succeeding in its mission to racialize the practice of medicine, believing that the “dominant medical practice in the United States has been built on the dehumanization and exploitation of Black people.”

An organization with at least 75 chapters across America’s medical schools, it advocates “prioritizing” black patients over other patients and “unlearning toxic medical knowledge and relearning medical care that centers the needs of Black people and communities.”

The organization also believes “whiteness is an invented political tool created through violence in the service of establishing domination,” “whiteness has been historically used as a violent means for stealing lives,” and “racism, capitalism, and white supremacy are interdependent systems which lead to the particular dehumanization, exploitation, and murder of Black people.”

They are an effective group, as well, making significant headway in policy writing at many top universities in the country.

Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons “Anti-Racism Task Force” cites WC4BL as a major contributor in their “Action Plan for Anti-Racism in Medical Education.”

Columbia’s plan calls specifically for “an intersectional framework that incorporates critical race theory,” and “faculty development … by individuals grounded in critical race theory.” They also plan to “reassess the utilization” of “test scores and grade point averages in admissions decisions.”

The AAMC also cites WC4BL as inspiration for its “Creating Action to Eliminate Racism in Medical Education” guide.

University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine also cites WC4BL as part of its “active community of cultural registered campus organizations,” and boasts that “since 2015, communication and racial bias has been incorporated into new student orientation as students first set foot on campus at the beginning of their medical school careers.”

Redefining the Practice of Medicine: America’s Medical Associations

In addition to the AAMC pushing this ideology at a university level, many medical associations are attempting to redefine the practice of medicine by creating new standards for current doctors.

The American Medical Association (AMA), the country’s largest organization that represents physicians and medical students, released last year an 86-page strategic plan detailing its new orientation toward race.

The missive, titled the “Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity,” is intent on “build[ing] the AMA’s capacity to understand and operationalize anti-racism equity strategies via training and tool development.”

It also seeks to “develop structures and processes to consistently center the experiences and ideas of historically marginalized (women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, International Medical Graduates) and minoritized (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other people of color) physicians.”

The ideology transcends medical associations, even down to the acutely specialized.

As Breitbart News reported, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), a professional organization of medical physicists “responsible for all things radiation and medicine” in cancer treatment, has put together several racial-, ethnic-, and sexual orientation-based committees to assess how to redefine their profession along racial and sexual lines.

A medical physicist is someone who oversees the safe usage of radiation and imaging in order to properly treat cancer patients. One medical physicist who spoke to Breitbart News on the condition of anonymity explained that the AAPM would normally focus on scientific discovery and advances in technology and medicine.

Now, however, the organization is intent on defining its practices in terms of race and sex, even recommending the use of “gender neutral pronouns.”

Much of the push, according to the medical physicist, is coming from academic centers, and not from the doctors themselves.

Many of the doctors, he continued, are afraid to speak against the establishment for fear of blacklisting and having their careers ruined.

Breitbart News previously revealed that the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors published a guide warning against “white institutional values,” which were said to include “power hoarding,” as well as “defensiveness.”

The State of Medicine

American medicine is in a transformation stage away from unbiased, need-based care to a system that favors certain races over others.

The American medical establishment attempts to justify this through a lens of “oppressed” and “oppressor,” but the implications are severe for any American seeking care, as their immutable characteristics are being used as criteria for receiving the help they need.

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

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at slindquist@breitbart.com


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