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Missouri Attorney General Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against HHS Secretary Becerra

May 6, 2022, 14:54 PM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that his Office joined a coalition of 8 states in filing a civil rights lawsuit against Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-Lasure, opposing a new rule that allows higher compensation for doctors who enact an “anti-racism” plan. Two private doctors are also plaintiffs in the suit.
“Critical race theory has no place in the healthcare profession. The Biden Administration is pushing their anti-racism agenda on healthcare workers who simply want to do their jobs,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “There is no room for race-based decision-making in medicine, and I will not allow providers to be penalized for refusing to bend to extremism.”

Health providers who fail to submit an “anti-racism” plan will get reimbursed at lower costs, which will increase costs for states and their citizens.

The state plaintiffs assert that this rule, which the lawsuit argues is a violation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, encourages “race-based decision-making in medicine” while simultaneously “decreasing the quality and availability of medical care.” Missouri, as well as the other states “prohibit racial discrimination in their laws and their agreements with medical-care providers”, so this rule will put the states in a bind as they attempt to enforce their racial discrimination laws without penalizing medical providers who submit “anti-racism” plans to get reimbursed at higher payments.

In addition to Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Montana joined the lawsuit. Dr. Amber Colville from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and Dr. Ralph Alvarado of Winchester, Kentucky, with the support of Do No Harm, led the lawsuit.

The petition can be read here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/1_dnh-complaint.pdf?sfvrsn=446e0686_2