The Racial Setasides in the House Health Bill


By: Warner Todd Huston

Attorney Allan J. Favish reported a few days ago on the shocking racial set asides contained in the House Healthcare bill that shows that, once again, Congress is more interested in serving politically correct interests than in actually “doing something” serious about healthcare.

Just as Congress routinely adds riders and earmarks to bills that have nothing to do with those earmarks and riders (such as sticking abortion funding in an armed services supplemental bill, and the like) House Democrats slipped into the healthcare legislation racial preferences concerning minority students seeking entrance to medical schools.

It appears that the healthcare bill will give preferential federal funding to medical schools that “have demonstrated a record” of training students from “underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Here is what Favish found:

On page 879-880, the bill states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services…

“shall make grants to, or enter into contracts with, eligible entities . . . to operate a professional training program in the field of family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, or geriatrics, to provide financial assistance and traineeships and fellowships to those students, interns, residents or physicians who plan to work in or teach in the field of family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, or geriatrics.”

On page 881-882 the bill states:

to entities that have a demonstrated record of the following: . . . Training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.”

On page 883 the bill states:

“The Secretary shall make grants to, or enter into contracts with, eligible entities . . . to operate or participate in an established primary care residency training program, which may include-(A) planning and developing curricula; (B) recruitment and training of residents; and (C) retention of faculty.”

On page 884-885 the bill states:

“In awarding grants and contracts . . . the Secretary shall give preference to entities that have a demonstrated record of training . . . individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds . . . .”

On page 887-889 the bill states that the…

“Secretary shall make grants to, or enter into contracts with, eligible entities . . . to operate a professional training program for oral health professionals, to provide financial assistance and traineeships and fellowships to those professionals who plan to work in or teach general, pediatric, or public health dentistry, or dental hygiene, to establish, maintain, or improve academic administrative units (including departments, divisions, or other appropriate units) in the specialties of general, pediatric, or public health dentistry, to operate a loan repayment program for full-time faculty in a program of general, pediatric, or public health dentistry.”

On page 889-890 the bill states:

“In awarding grants or contracts under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to entities that have a demonstrated record of the following: . . . Training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.”

On page 908-909 the bill states:

“The Secretary shall award grants and contracts to eligible entities” to do the same things for the field of public health as the Secretary can do for dentistry.

On page 909 the bill states:

“In awarding grants or contracts under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to entities that have a demonstrated record of the following: . . . Training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Of course, immediately a question of qualifications arises. If you find that your doctor was admitted to school solely because he was a person representing an “underrepresented minority group” or had a “disadvantaged background” and not because he had excellent grades in medical or pre-med school, how comfortable would you feel with your medical treatment from that doctor? Would he be a doctor because he excelled at his studies, or because he enjoyed minority set asides, affirmative action, or racial gerrymandering?

It may not be so bad if your lawyer, your mechanic, or your hairdresser got by in life because of affirmative action programs. Maybe it’s not even the end of the world if your Supreme Court Justice only got where she is because of affirmative action. But your doctor, the man that holds your life in his hands and whose training can be paramount in the saving of that life? Do we want those folks passing through their training based on race and not grades?

Apparently the House Democrats are less interested in our medical student’s high grades and more interested in having the “right” number of minority students admitted to those medical schools. And they aren’t above using this so-called crisis on healthcare to get that racial gerrymandering put into place.

(Cross posted at HealthcareHorseRace.com)

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