The Biden Administration Is Bribing Hospitals To Go Woke
The Biden administration is withholding taxpayer money from hospitals that aren’t sufficiently woke – essentially bribing them to adopt divisive and discriminatory policies. That’s the reality of a little-known yet far-reaching rule the administration finalized last year. With a new Congress underway, investigating such blatant identity politics overreach is urgently needed.
The Biden rule comes from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Secretary, Xavier Becerra, who promised to make “equity” a central part of the department’s mission. The concept of equity demands that any differences in outcome be eliminated, even to the point of using racial discrimination. Within the context of health care, equity threatens to lower the quality of care for some patients in the name of making care equal for all.
The Biden rule accomplishes this goal by tying federal money that hospitals receive to their level of wokeness. To get reimbursement rate increases under Medicare and Medicaid, hospitals have to send the federal government data proving their commitment to health equity. In other words, this regulation is forcing hospitals to fixate on patients’ race instead of just their individual medical needs.
At 720 pages long, the rule mentions equity 380 times – or more than once every two pages. It is predicated on the idea that health outcomes indicate racism and bigotry by health care professionals, despite a complete lack of valid evidence. Even so, the rule creates a system in which the more woke a hospital is, the more taxpayer money it gets.
The Biden administration received significant pushback from health care providers about the draft version of the rule. Most notably, hospitals and doctors rightly pointed out that it could hurt patient health. HHS acknowledges this fact in the final version of the rule, stating in one place:
“Several commenters stated that linking payment to equity is inconsistent with the statutory requirements for calculating payment reductions. Some of these commenters observed that the payment system was designed to ensure equitable payments for hospitals that treat high-risk patients, not to advance patient level equity in outcomes.”
In other words, the Biden administration is endangering the health of high-risk patients in service to divisive and discriminatory ideology. Another section states the problem even more bluntly:
“A commenter expressed concern that linking payment to performance on equity
measures would change hospitals’ focus to factors outside of each patient’s medical diagnosis, thereby decreasing the quality of care.”
This criticism is spot on. By bribing hospitals to focus on race, the Biden administration is jeopardizing the world-class care that every patient of every race deserves. The only question now is when will Congress investigate this woke injustice?
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