PJ Media

Hidden Deep Within ObamaCare, Racial Preferences

This week ends the final push to jam a health care bill down our collective throats, something few Americans want. Nancy Pelosi’s leading the charge, and we’ll soon know if she can deliver the votes or not. One thing is clear — Obama’s plan is 1,018 pages long, and inside any government document that massive is room for all sorts of bad things to live and breed. Yet the president and the leaders of his party seem to think Americans reject the health care bill because, well, they’re just too dumb to understand what’s in the plan.

The problem isn’t us. It’s the bill, stupid.

Obama’s given more than fifty speeches about health care “reform,” the mainstream media has acted largely as his public relations machine, and Democrat Party leaders have had more than a year to explain why the Obama plan is the best thing since sliced bread. Yet still, Americans aren’t buying it. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, more than 81 percent of voters believe that, if passed, the bill would cost far more than Obama claims.

And, as we all know, the devil is always in the details. And on page 879 is one detail that few know about.

A friend of mine, Allan Favish, has discovered the bill includes race preferences.

In an article written for the American Thinker, Favish says the bill specifies that the secretary of Health and Human Services, “in awarding grants or contracts under this section … shall give preferences to entities that have a demonstrated record of … training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.”

The bill doesn’t say what would qualify as a “demonstrated record,” so if ObamaCare passes you can expect that medical schools and other training institutions will do whatever they can to get away with training as many people as possible from so-called “disadvantaged backgrounds.”

By the way, if you’re poor and white, or Asian, or Jewish, don’t expect any advantage under this plan. The word “underrepresented” is inserted into the bill’s language to make it clear the preferences are aimed at giving a leg up to black and Hispanic students. According to the soft bigotry of the left, “underrepresented” is always meant to be read as “black” and “Latino.”

So what’s the rationale behind this nonsense? Well, due to the disproportionately poorer health that’s found among poor blacks and Latinos, the assumption is that this is caused by racism and health care discrimination. This is always the fall-back position of leftists and liberals, since sloppy thinking won’t allow examining other contributing factors: bad eating habits, heredity, and levels of fitness may not always be as good among all groups.

But institutionalized racial preferences and ethnic quotas at nursing, dental, and medical schools is nothing new. What the bill’s language does that is new is make sure that race, sex and ethnic quotes will be institutionalized in perpetuity.

Medical schools have been making use of racial preferences for decades. And like everywhere else where racial preferences have been practiced, there’s a huge downside.

To be sure, outstanding black and Latino students are studying at many of the nation’s best medical training institutes. But racial preference policies have allowed other black and Latino students who are less-than-qualified into many of these same schools. This has led to high dropout rates and the failure to pass critical licensing exams at rates far higher than their classmates.

To be sure, the language about racial preferences in Obama’s bill has alarmed the United States Commission on Civil Rights. (I currently serve as a California State advisor to this federal commission.) This commission recently sent a letter to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (among other key political figures). The commissioners said, in an understated-kind-of-way: “Racial preferences in the Senate Health Care Bill, in addition to being unconstitutional, will not improve health care outcomes for minority patients.” Examining the terms of the race provisions, they said they find them “constitutionally suspect and ill-defined.”

In a stiff and bureaucratic way, necessary in the context of intergovernmental agency politics, the commission has “called out” Obama, Pelosi and Reid. The 1964 Civil Rights Act made it unlawful to discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. But now liberal Democrats want to pass a health care bill that, among its many problems, tries to provide new racial entitlements for “underrepresented minority groups,” all the while turning a blind eye to discrimination against those who are not.

Some say that life is a game of winners and losers. This might be true, but we shouldn’t allow Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid to pick the people who win or lose just because of skin color or their last name.