Republicans Slam Biden’s “Equity” Organ Donor Program

( – President Joe Biden’s administration has consistently strived to support new programs and policies favoring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a means of leveling a playing field that they say is skewed against the interests of some demographic groups. Republican lawmakers recently pushed back on the administration’s new equity organ donor program.

On June 18, Senators Eric Schmitt (R-OH), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra about that move “to inject woke and divisive DEI [practices] into the United States healthcare system.”

Smith warned that America’s healthcare system has become the latest means of injecting DEI policies for President Joe Biden and Democrats. Schmitt said vital medical procedures shouldn’t “be rated on a scale of one to woke,” and surgeons and other medical practitioners shouldn’t consider the “equity of a situation” before performing life-saving procedures on patients.

On May 3, HHS issued a press release announcing the department’s new Increasing Organ Transplant Access Model (IOTA). The notice explained that the program hoped “to increase access to kidney transplants” for everyone suffering from end-stage renal disease.

HHS also noted that IOTA would improve kidney patients’ quality of care and “reduce disparities among individuals” awaiting a kidney transplant. Becerra said the “organ transplant industry… [was] not immune to racial inequities.”

Continuing, the HHS head stated that “Black Americans disproportionately struggle with… kidney disease” but end up receiving a small percentage of kidney transplants. He explained that by adopting IOTA, administration officials were “taking concrete steps to remove racial bias” when determining wait times and attempting to scale back “profiteering and inequity in the transplant process.”

However, the Republican lawmakers pushed back on that explanation. For example, their letter noted that under the new model, hospitals would receive federal funds based on an annual score. Under the administration’s new plan, “successful kidney transplants count as one point [but] a transplant given to a ‘low income’ patient… counts as 1.2 points.”

The Republican senators concluded their letter by warning that patient treatments shouldn’t be prioritized using DEI standards like race and income and urged Becerra to “withdraw” the new IOTA model.

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