HHS Secretary Denies That Biden Administration Incentivizes Doctors To Implement ‘Anti-Racism’ Policies
(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra denied Wednesday that the health department has a policy incentivizing doctors to implement anti-racism plans in their clinics.

Questioned by Republican Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer about the anti-racism policy, which the congressman suggested undermines confidence in physicians, Becerra 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.”

“Much of this is driven by the mis and disinformation,” said the HHS secretary, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Wire. “I would challenge you to show me where in our policies we call anything we are doing anti-racism policies. We are simply trying to make sure everyone has equal access to healthcare.”

Becerra either purposefully misled the public on this point or is ignorant of his own department’s policies, Do No Harm chairman Dr. Stanley Goldfarb suggested: More than 1,000 pages into the Department of Health and Human Services’s fiscal planning for 2022 lies a proposal to “create and implement an anti-racism plan.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) listed that proposal in the Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) updated rules in November 2021, citing an update that incentivizes providers “to acknowledge systemic racism as a root cause for differences in health outcomes between socially-defined racial groups.”

It appears to have gone into effect in 2022.

Goldfarb said in a statement that it is “highly alarming” that Becerra would deny the existence of such a rule, noting that the rule has provided “higher compensations for doctors if they promulgate an ‘anti-racism’ plan.”

“It would be greatly concerning if Secretary Becerra was unaware of the discriminatory policies being implemented by his own department,” Goldfarb told The Daily Wire on Thursday morning. “More likely, he knows that ‘anti-racism’ is deeply unpopular with the American people.”

“Either way, the policy is unethical and promotes the very discrimination that we have worked so hard in this country to eliminate,” Goldfarb added. “Secretary Becerra should immediately move to find and eliminate all race-based policies being advanced by HHS.”

That anti-racism plan would be based off anti-racism planning tools like the CMS Disparities Impact Statement, according to the proposal, 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 proposal cites Biden’s January 20, 2021 “Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government” and emphasizes that “this activity begins with the premise that it is important to acknowledge systemic racism as a root cause for differences in health outcomes between socially defined racial groups.” 

“We believe this activity has the potential to improve clinical practice or care delivery and is likely to result in improved outcomes … because it supports clinicians in identifying health disparities and implementing processes to reduce racism and provide equitable quality health care,” the proposal continues.

“This activity is intended to help clinicians move beyond analyzing data to taking real steps to naming and eliminating the causes of the disparities identified,” it reads. “We also propose making this activity high-weighted because clinicians will need considerable time and resources to develop a thorough anti-racism plan that is informed by data, and to implement it throughout the practice or system.”

This would not be the first time that Becerra has misled the public on a controversial, culture war-related topic.

In May 2021, Becerra repeatedly and falsely said there is “no law” that deals specifically with “partial-birth abortion,” though he himself voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 as a congressman.

“There is no medical term like partial-birth abortion, so I would probably have to ask you what you mean by that, to describe what is allowed by the law,” the HHS secretary said. “Roe v. Wade is very clear, settled precedent, a woman has a right to make decisions about her reproductive health, and we will make sure we enforce the law and protect these rights.”

“There is no law that deals specifically with the term partial-birth abortion,” he continued. “We have clear precedent in the law on the rights that women have to reproductive health care, and we will follow the law and protect the rights of all Americans to their healthcare.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  HHS Secretary Denies That Biden Administration Incentivizes Doctors To Implement ‘Anti-Racism’ Policies