Secretary Becerra and Congresswoman clash over HHS ‘anti-racism’ policy


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Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra denied the existence of racial preference weightings in HHS, calling reports of its own medical fee schedule “misinformation.”

Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on Wednesday, Becerra denied that HHS has a policy offering financial incentives to doctors to implement an “anti-racism” plan.

“You are secretary of the CMS. Is there a schedule of doctors’ fees that has been published that contains weighted measures for anti-racism?” Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri asked.

“There is a fee schedule that takes into account that we have a great disparity in this country in terms of access to health care and moving towards a system that will guarantee everyone equal access to the care to which they are entitled” , Becerra replied, pushing back on Smith’s assessment.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is interviewed by The Associated Press on March 17, 2022 in Washington.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a rule that provided more funds if doctors came up with an “anti-racism” plan. The plan calls for a “clinic-wide review” of physicians’ “commitment against racism” based on a definition of race as “a political and social construct, not a physiological one.”

“And, in this fee schedule, does he put separate weightings for various aspects of care based on his race?” Smith pressed Becerra on Monday.

“Based solely on his race? Becerra asked. “Nope.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is interviewed by The Associated Pres on March 17, 2022 in Washington.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is interviewed by The Associated Pres on March 17, 2022 in Washington.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Race-based incentives were included in the December 2021 HHS Policy Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

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“The plan should include a clinic-wide review of existing tools and policies, such as statements of values ​​or clinical practice guidelines,” according to the HHS memo, “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.”

Becerra attributed the congressman’s claims about race-based incentives in health care to “misinformation” and “disinformation.”

HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra testified before the parliamentary committee on education and labour.

HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra testified before the parliamentary committee on education and labour.
(Screenshot/House Education and Labor Committee)

Political advocacy group Do No Harm blasted the secretary’s refusal in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“It is very alarming that Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has denied the existence of the HHS rule which, since 2021, provides for higher compensation for doctors if they enact an ‘anti-racism’ plan” , said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, president of Do No Harm. , mentioned.


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