Racial Preferences in ObamaCare

Allan J. Favish, American Thinker, September 7, 2012

Though there seem to be no other news organizations covering the topic, it is nonetheless true that ObamaCare includes racial preferences, called “priorities” in the law.  When the first version of ObamaCare appeared in a bill, I wrote about the racial preferences in it here for American Thinker on July 21, 2009.  Now that we have a final version of the law, it is reasonably safe to elaborate how those preferences have evolved.

(All 906 pages of ObamaCare, officially known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, 111th Congress, can be read here.)

Under ObamaCare, if a medical or dental school wants to increase its chances of receiving many different kinds of grants and contracts from the federal government, it should “have a record of training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities.”  This is because ObamaCare requires the secretary of health and human services to give priority to the entities that have demonstrated such a record in the awarding of these grants and contracts to medical and dental schools and other entities.

ObamaCare does not state what would qualify as a “record” of such training, so we can expect medical and dental schools and the other entities to do whatever they think they can get away with to train as many “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities” as necessary to have a better “record” in this regard than their competitors.  ObamaCare creates a significant financial incentive for medical and dental schools and other entities to lower admission standards for “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities” if that is what it takes to have the winning “record” of such training.

In Section 5301, ObamaCare states that the HHS secretary:

… may make grants to, or enter into contracts with, … [a] school of medicine or osteopathic medicine … which the Secretary has determined is capable of carrying out such grant or contract —

(A) to plan, develop, operate, or participate in an accredited professional training program, including an accredited residency or internship program in the field of family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics for medical students, interns, residents, or practicing physicians as defined by the Secretary[.]

ObamaCare then states that the “[s]ecretary may make grants to or enter into contracts with accredited schools of medicine or osteopathic medicine to establish, maintain, or improve … programs that improve clinical teaching and research in” the fields defined  above, or “programs that integrate academic administrative units in” the fields defined above “to enhance interdisciplinary recruitment, training, and faculty development.”

In a subsection entitled “Priorities in Making Awards,” ObamaCare states: “In awarding grants or contracts under” the paragraphs quoted above, “the Secretary shall give priority to qualified applicants that … have a record of training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups[.]”

ObamaCare’s race-based “priorities” extend to dental education as well.  Section 5303 of ObamaCare states that the “[s]ecretary may make grants to, or enter into contracts with, a school of dentistry, public or nonprofit private hospital, or a public or private nonprofit entity” for the following purposes:

(A) to plan, develop, and operate, or participate in, an approved professional training program in the field of general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, or public health dentistry for dental students, residents, practicing dentists, dental hygienists, or other approved primary care dental trainees, that emphasizes training for general, pediatric, or public health dentistry;

(B) to provide financial assistance to dental students, residents, practicing dentists, and dental hygiene students who are in need thereof, who are participants in any such program, and who plan to work in the practice of general, pediatric, public heath dentistry, or dental hygiene;

(C) to plan, develop, and operate a program for the training of oral health care providers who plan to teach in general, pediatric, public health dentistry, or dental hygiene;

(D) to provide financial assistance in the form of traineeships and fellowships to dentists who plan to teach or are teaching in general, pediatric, or public health dentistry; …

(F) to meet the costs of projects to establish, maintain, or improve predoctoral and postdoctoral training in primary care programs[.]

In a subsection entitled “Priorities in Making Awards” ObamaCare states: “With respect to training provided for under this section, the Secretary shall give priority in awarding grants or contracts to the following … [q]ualified applicants that have a record of training individuals who are … from underrepresented minorities.”

Apart from the legality of such “priorities” under the U.S. Constitution and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the unfairness to those who are not “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities,” ObamaCare will foster the racial preference or “priority” climate that continues to stigmatize and demean those individuals who receive the preferences or “priorities.”  For example, if you know nothing else about two university students, except that one was probably admitted under a program where intellectual standards were reduced and the student received a preference for being the child of an alumnus, and the other was admitted under more rigorous intellectual standards without receiving any non-merit-based preference, what are you going to think about these two students?  Is the answer any different when the preference is based on race rather than an alumni relationship?

A non-merit-based preference program based on an individual’s physical appearance or surname is no less a “badge of inferiority” than the one condemned in Brown v. Board of Education.  Thanks to ObamaCare’s racial preference or “priority” program, which provides a financial incentive for medical and dental schools to lower admission standards for “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities,” those individuals at these medical and dental schools and other entities, including those who deserved admission without the racial preference or “priority,” will wear that badge.

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  • nettle

    It should be considered criminal to stock the hospitals based on skin color than merit.  It’s like allowing a pilot to fly a plane full of people based on skin color rather than on true ability and
    intelligence.  This country is constant being tested how far the public will let the delusionals in charge push the envelope.

    • libertarian1234

      This is just another phase in the dumbing down of this nation. 

      While the other lowered standards will result in incompetence and inefficiencies,  the latest outrages will result in deaths for certain.

      Putting unqualified blacks in the medical profession and pharmacies will result in people being killed.

      We’re heading toward a Zimbabwe/South African model.

      • blight14

        Yes BUT just think how dandy the composite graduation picture will be!

      • Ed_NY

        Institutionalized Incompetence!

    • IKantunderstand

      Ummm, I think they are doing exactly that, in South Africa. Where goes S.A., where goes the White world.

  • Hirschibold

    It doesn’t matter how rigorous or how lax the standards are for non-whites. I can tell you from personal experience that when I booked an appointment with a dentist sight-unseen, and then walked into the office to see a black man in a white lab coat, I did an about-face to the parking lot and drove away, forfeiting my appointment. Teeth are sensitive and full of nerves; no way am I letting someone near them who may have nurtured a historical grievance against me. Liberals might want to atone for slavery, and expiate the sins of their white guilt, but I’m not keen on re-enacting that “Is it safe?” scene from “Marathon Man” in the near future. 

  • Dr. X

    You can bet good money that the cosmetic surgeons that do face lifts and boob jobs on white, left-wing Hollywood actresses who hold $30,000-a-plate fundraisers for Obama won’t be graduates of the “underrepresented minority” programs in med school.

  • Dean_Wormers_Hot_Wife

    Celebrating this important milestone on the path toward social, racial, and redistributive justice is the required response.

    Not celebrating it is a “hate crime committed in a last gasp effort by the dominant culture to perpetutate its racist unearned White privilege”.

  • guest

    One the one hand, Obama claimed he wanted to “transcend race”.  On the other hand, he still believes in giving non-whites special privileges because of their race.

    This proves that, as usual, race matters.  Even if they claim it doesn’t and shouldn’t.

  • In order to get into medical school, one must have majored in science, have a high gpa, and have high MCAT scores. I do not see how they are going to get around that. Without this, how can one succeed. For those who cannot get into US medical schools, they can always enroll in Caribbean medical school and do a US medical residency so that they can become a physician.

  • potato78

    If it is true, how can America not be going down?  Lower STD, Lower EVERY STD which is not purposed to be.  Eventually reduce the quality of everything and produce a large of quantity with low  standard.  Then I need An Affirmative Action too.

  • The__Bobster

    I’d buy a life insurance policy on anyone with a serious illness instead.

  • The__Bobster

    In the 70’s there was a medical college in Newark that flunked a couple of Bantus. Their homies picketed outside until they were given their degrees.

    • blight14

       I assume you sought them out to be the primary care providers for you and your family…….lol

    • blight14

       I assume you sought them out to be the primary care providers for you and your family…….lol

  • Black nurses are to be avoided also.

  • blight14

    I attended dental school in the early 90’s…..we had one black male and a mixed black/white female(white father/black mother)…..the black male was expelled either the end of the first year or early in second year for cheating. It wasn’t your standard peek at a note in your pocket, etc, he had textbooks/notebooks/laptop/etc all out on his desk…..after being expelled, he had a motorcycle wreck and lost one leg…..he was allowed back into school for some reason post accident…..the mixed race female did well in school and has a thriving private practice….In my private military high school we had two black brothers from Chicago, both went on to medical school….both are in Illinois state prison now for massive welfare fraud……

  • blight14

     Perhaps its different for medical school but when I applied to dental school there was the usual check-this-box for race/gender. I believe the same questions were on the DAT exam. Lets not forget the next step, the interview……So respectfully, I do believe the practice of allowing under qualified minorities into med/dent schools has been going on for some time…..

  • blight14

     Perhaps its different for medical school but when I applied to dental school there was the usual check-this-box for race/gender. I believe the same questions were on the DAT exam. Lets not forget the next step, the interview……So respectfully, I do believe the practice of allowing under qualified minorities into med/dent schools has been going on for some time…..

  • Bad_Mr_Frosty

    It did crash the financial system. It’s currently on life-support from bailouts and Chinese loans. It will flat-line very soon.

  • Bad_Mr_Frosty

    Already is, many Hindu and Muslim doctors got their degree from overseas schools. Can you imagine what kind of “training” one gets in a Muslim medical school?

  • Ulick

    This chart shows the “quality” of the medical professional we can now expect more of in the future….


    • Greg Hollis

      This has to do with the quality of boards, not race you racist idiot.

  • Michael C. Scott

    A better question is “What family practicioner does he take his kids to?”

    • Pat Kittle

       Certainly not a Jewish practitioner — he wouldn’t be THAT racist.

  • greg

    One word for this article, idiotic. For one, post-secondary biomedical education in all American “Schools of Medicine” has been diversity grant driven for several decades by way of the National Institutes of Health and is nothing new created by “Obamacare”. Even the most prestigious biomedical graduate programs at Stanford, Yale, and Harvard are all given NIH funding based upon how well they recruit and retain minorities. In addition, the word “minority is used way to lightly in the article, as it applies not only to color but physical and mental disabilities ( according to the NIH, the individuals who will be providing medical schools with funds because of “Obamacare”).
    So what does this mean? It means that you have not done your research at all. This idea of diversity based funding has gone on for YEARS at the most prestigious universities, in the most specialized fields of scientific study, at the highest level Ph.D. Now, all “Obamacare” is doing is simply expanding these sourced funds to all departments of the “Schools of Medicine” at each university across America ( and not elusively to the research Ph.D. granting divisions of Medical Schools as before). I personally was offered positions at Yale, Harvard, and Stanford for such programs due to my grades, GRE scores, and veteran disability background. This was explained to me in detail that programs are trying to expand the level of diversity by making education obtainable for all human beings, regardless of their disadvantages. Yet, the worst thing about this article is that it completely negates that fact that all medical school students and residents are required to take the USLME at several stages in their training. These scores are heavily weighted in the Residency applicant process and as a result provide a race-blind standard used by all doctors who go into the highest levels training. So in other words your beliefs of “lowered standards” lack serious reasoning.

    Overall to the comments below, you guys are sickening when considering that what we are arguing is not tax or foreign policy, what you all are doing is arguing against human beings who want to improve their lives and the lives of others by obtaining an education. Have we not learned from George C Wallaces foolish attempts to create exclusivity in education? Exclusivity and education don’t go hand in hand at all. Why is there an issue when young men and women want to obtain an education? When a human being wants to obtain an education its always a good thing and it never should be argued against.

    • However, there is affirmative action in med school admissions. Can someone find that chart of how white, black, Hispanic and Asian applicants to med schools who are admitted into med schools have a sliding scale? What I mean by that is that there is the usual Asian > White > Hispanic > Black continuum.

      George Wallace didn’t stand in the door to prevent blacks from being educated, he did so to prevent public education from becoming the blackboard jungle it has become.

      • Greg Hollis

        Clearly you have avoided all facts I have presented. Medical schools are in place so that America can produce physicians and surgeons that help all of our nations people, and the only way that can even happen is through diversity in medical school. Regardless of race or academic achievements in college , what truly matters is USMLE scores since gpa’s have all been phased out in med school. So what you are truly aguing is ugrad gpa and mcat, yet what does it matter if a Black or Latino applicant gets a C in sociology yet excells on his step one score and his 3 year clinical rotations? 90% of all ugrad course work means NOTHING in terms of med school. So for anyone to argue against minorities having slightly lower standards, after they’ve disproved the system by passing boards is just plain foolish. Yet as I said before, you are arguing against a human being obtaining an education in order to improve lives around them. I personally have more respect for garbage than anyone who argues against that.

        • Even then, if you don’t think that blacks and Hispanics get a little bit of wind to their backs, then I think you’re naive.

  • George

    just look at the barry sorento administration.