by Benjamin Yount
One of Wisconsin’s Republican congressmen wants to ban racial-scoring in deciding who gets the new coronavirus antiviral pills.
Northwoods U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany on Thursday introduced legislation that would prohibit the federal government and the states from discriminating against or giving preference to any person based on race when it comes to the distribution of, or access to, medical treatment.
“Denying life-saving medical care to Americans based on skin color is wrong, it is illegal, and it is un-American,” Tiffany said.
The plan, which Tiffany is calling the Medical Equality and Discrimination Stoppage Act, or MEDS Act, comes after reports that states and hospitals are using race-based scoring systems to determine who gets access to the new pills.
Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services has proclaimed that it will distribute the pills in this state based on “equity.”
DHS told The Center Square last week that they are simply following the Biden Administration’s lead.
“Under guidance developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), health care providers are encouraged to prioritize prescribing these new therapeutics to those patients at greatest risk of serious illness or hospitalization from COVID-19,” DHS spokesperson Elizabeth Goodsitt told The Center Squarelast week.
But nothing in the guidance from the NIH explains just what equity has to do with distributing the pills. There is also no definition from NIH about what qualifies as “equity.”
Tiffany said the basic idea of his legislation is to remove race from all decisions about medical treatment.
“Our constitution guarantees equal protection under the law for all Americans without regard to race, color or creed,” Tiffany added. “It is long past time for the government to get out of the business of state-sanctioned racial discrimination.”
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Benjamin Yount contributes to The Center Square.