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Trans Ideologues Who Cheer Cutting Off Healthy Genitals Shouldn’t Set Federal Medical Standards


BY: DOUGLAS WILSON | NOVEMBER 23, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/trans-ideologues-who-cheer-cutting-off-healthy-genitals-shouldnt-set-federal-medical-standards-2658771366.html/

Health and Human Services
Along the new frontier of ‘transgender health,’ destructive ‘standards of care’ are being set by ideologues — with the government’s blessing.

Author Douglas Wilson profile

DOUGLAS WILSON

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Imagine the Environmental Protection Agency decides that, instead of setting air pollution standards, it will outsource oversight to an industry group called the “Emission Standards Coalition,” which, despite its innocuous name, is funded and staffed entirely by coal companies. Or, closer to home, imagine that city councilmembers in your quiet suburb decide that henceforth all speed limits will be set by the local auto racing club. We all would promptly object, haranguing the government for abdicating its most basic responsibility to citizens. “Foxes shouldn’t guard henhouses,” we’d say. Rules meant for public health and safety shouldn’t become tools to advance special interests and profit seekers. Lifting pollution and speed limits may benefit factory and Ferrari owners, but the public at large will have to cope with the resulting damage.

Farfetched as these examples might seem, something like this is happening in health care. Along the new frontier of “transgender health,” novel and even destructive “standards of care” are being set by ideologues and billionaire-backed foundations — all with the government’s blessing.

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Behind its 190-plus pages and innocent-sounding name (“Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities”) hides a radical agenda that would reshape the nation’s health care in alarming ways. HHS is proposing new national standards for what it calls “gender affirming care,” mandating that doctors provide these services and insurance plans cover them. What is “gender affirming care” exactly? HHS never really says. Its proposed rule neither defines the term nor identifies objective standards — such as age limits — that might apply. Instead, HHS incorporates guidance from medical societies and a group calling itself the “World Professional Association for Transgender Health,” or WPATH.

WPATH is not a government agency. It is a trans-activist group. Its president is Dr. Marci Bowers, a man identifying as a woman and self-described “pioneer in the field of Gender Affirmation Surgery” with her own transgender reality show, “Sex Change Hospital.” WPATH’s staff appears to be largely borrowed from Veritas, a for-profit company that does marketing and public relations for medical societies. WPATH’s funders include the Arcus Foundation (“one of the largest LGBT funders in the world”), the Soros-backed Open Society Foundations, and the Tawani Foundation, headed by transgender billionaire Jennifer Pritzker.

‘Standards’ Reflect Radical Backers

In 2018, the Tawani Foundation gave WPATH $200,000 to develop its so-called “Standards of Care,” a gift that earned Pritzker the WPATH “Philanthropy Award.” And Pritzker is heavily invested in trans causes. While the foundation has been funneling money to groups like WPATH and the National Center for Transgender Equality, its for-profit arm, Tawani Enterprises, is making financial bets on medical devices, implants, and surgical cutting tools. With the transgender surgery market expected to grow by billions of dollars over the next decade, one careful observer notes that “it is hard to avoid the impression of complementarity” here.

No surprise, then, that the WPATH standards that HHS hopes to enshrine into law reflect the radical views of its backers. On the list of WPATH “treatments” are mutilating surgeries (mastectomies, vaginectomies, penectomies), “chest binding,” “genital tucking,” “aesthetic procedures” like “body contouring” and “voice surgery,” and puberty-blocking drugs for children. There’s no minimum age requirement for these procedures. WPATH even calls for “psychotherapy” for prepubescent “gender diverse children” to “explore their gender,” with parents involved “as necessary” and excluded if their involvement is “contra-indicated.” WPATH says it’s “committed to advocacy” for “social and political climates that ensure social tolerance, equality, and the full rights of citizenship.”

This isn’t medicine. It is the destruction of healthy bodies, the indoctrination of children, and the dissolution of parental rights. It is radical sexual ideology under the guise of science.

Rest of the World Backs Away

Even to call WPATH’s guidance “standards of care” is misleading. As the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine explains, a true standard of care “is a treatment approach that all reasonable providers would use in a particular clinical situation,” but no such consensus exists for so-called “gender affirming care,” especially for kids. And the mounting damage this form of “care” is doing to both kids and adults is well-documented. It’s why countries around the world are backing away from it, even as HHS bureaucrats are strangely doubling down.

WPATH published its latest guidance in its “partner” journal, the recently renamed “International Journal of Transgender Health.” Among its authors is Susie Green, who heads the United Kingdom-based group Mermaids focused on “gender-diverse kids.” Green is not a medical professional. She spent several years as an IT consultant before famously helping her 16-year-old son undergo transgender surgery in Thailand. Another contributor to the WPATH guidance is Laura A. Jacobs, a self-described genderqueer “activist” and “heretic” whose “psychotherapy specialties” include “LGBTQIA+” adolescents, “BDSM,” “kink,” and “sexwork.”

It isn’t shocking that a bunch of well-funded activists could come together, give their glossy PDFs a veneer of academic credibility, and market their views as a new sexual orthodoxy. What is shocking is that they’ve managed to capture the federal bureaucracy. For HHS to uncritically platform WPATH, mandating shoddy science and destructive medicine as law, is an alarming development that deserves greater scrutiny.

Ultimately, this is a lawless effort. HHS has no power to override the states and the medical profession by imposing “standards of care” for the entire country. Nor can HHS force these standards on health care professionals in violation of their ethical and religious convictions. And purporting to delegate these tasks to billionaire-backed ideologues with no democratic accountability is worse yet. Just as racing enthusiasts don’t set speed limits and coal companies don’t set pollution rules, transgender activists shouldn’t be setting national medical standards.


Douglas G. Wilson Jr. is the chief executive officer of the Catholic Benefits Association and founding board member of the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance.

Records: In 2021, Joe Biden Didn’t ‘Pay His Fair Share’ in Taxes Again


REPORTED BY: CHRISTOPHER JACOBS | APRIL 18, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/18/tax-records-show-that-in-2021-joe-biden-didnt-pay-his-fair-share-in-taxes-again/

Tax returns demanded

Joe Biden has a dirty little secret that he doesn’t want the American people to learn about: He appears to be avoiding tens of thousands of dollars in taxes.

Author Christopher Jacobs profile

CHRISTOPHER JACOBS

VISIT ON TWITTER@CHRISJACOBSHC

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To the Biden White House, the final working day of last week wasn’t Good Friday—and it wasn’t Jackie Robinson Day, either. To borrow an analogy from “The West Wing,” the Biden White House used last Friday as “Take Out the Trash Day,” dumping out President Biden’s 2021 tax returns late on a Friday afternoon, ahead of the Easter and Passover holidays.

This year, Tax Day didn’t come until Monday, April 18. One would think that, because Biden has released his tax returns and his predecessor did not, he would want to highlight this fact in a very public manner. Why didn’t Biden wait until Monday, and hold a big press conference where he could wave around his returns for everyone to see, to emphasize the fact that he’s “not like Donald Trump”?

Because Biden does have something to hide. He apparently has a dirty little secret—actually, it’s a pretty big secret—that he doesn’t want the American people to learn about. According to his own Treasury Department, Biden didn’t “pay his fair share” in taxes, and hasn’t for several years.

Corporate Loophole

I have written about this issue on several previous occasions. Upon leaving the vice presidency in January 2017, Biden and his wife Jill established two S-corporations to handle their book and speech income. By characterizing most of their income as profits from the corporations rather than wages, the Bidens were able to avoid payroll taxes on more than $13 million worth of income.

In 2021, they were back at it again, writing off $61,995 in corporate profits as exempt from payroll taxes, as evidenced on page 13 of their returns:

This $61,995 gets broken down in two ways: $29,234 comes from Joe Biden’s CelticCapri Corporation, while $32,761 comes from Jill Biden’s Giacoppa Corporation. In the president’s case, Biden avoided paying 3.8 percent tax on his nearly $30,000 in corporate profits—2.9 percent that funds Medicare, and an additional 0.9 percent imposed by Obamacare. (So much for Biden’s claim that “Obamacare is personal to me.”)

Jill Biden, who earned roughly $67,000 as a teacher at Northern Virginia Community College last year, avoided far more in taxes, as she did not reach last year’s Social Security wage cap of $142,800. Because she would have had to pay Social Security taxes on all wages up to the wage cap, classifying her nearly $33,000 in book income as corporate profits rather than wages meant Jill Biden didn’t just avoid paying Medicare taxes on these earnings—she avoided paying Social Security taxes as well.

All told, the Bidens seem to have dodged more than $6,100 in Medicare and Social Security taxes in 2021 alone:

              Joe Biden: $1,110.89 ($29,234 times 3.8 percent)

              Jill Biden: $5,012.43 ($32,761 times 15.3 percent)

This tax evasion comes after the Bidens appear to have previously avoided at least $517,000 in Medicare and Obamacare taxes from 2017 through 2020.

At least part of their scheme included potentially illegal tactics. As I have alleged in a complaint to the IRS regarding both Biden’s tax returns and his accountant’s conduct, I—along with many other tax experts—believe that in 2017 and 2018, Biden paid himself such a low salary as to violate IRS guidelines on “reasonable compensation.”

Treasury Says Biden Didn’t ‘Pay His Fair Share’

Regardless of whether the Bidens’ 2021 returns also violated tax laws, they constitute very clear hypocrisy—as one might expect from a career Washington politician. Note this passage from last year’s Treasury budget making the argument for closing the very loophole Biden continued to exploit in office, just as he had the past four years:

Different treatment [i.e., allowing S-corporation profits to avoid payroll tax] is unfair, inefficient, distorts choice of organizational form, and provides tax planning opportunities for business owners, particularly those with high incomes, to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

If Biden really cared about the wealthy “paying their fair share,” he would look in the mirror, get out his checkbook, and write a check for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in Medicare and Obamacare taxes he appears to have dodged for the past five years. That would involve practicing what one preaches—or in other words, having integrity. Try that some time, Mr. President.


Chris Jacobs is founder and CEO of Juniper Research Group, and author of the book, “The Case Against Single Payer.” He is on Twitter: @chrisjacobsHC. Previously he was a senior health policy analyst for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a senior policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, and a senior policy analyst with the Joint Economic Committee’s Senate Republican staff. During the debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, Jacobs was a policy adviser for the House Republican Conference under then-Chairman Mike Pence. In the first two years of the law’s implementation, he was a health policy analyst for the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Jacobs got his start on Capitol Hill as an intern for then-Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from American University, where he is a part-time teacher of health policy. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

In Its First Year, Biden’s HHS Relentlessly Attacked Christians and Unborn Babies


BY: RACHEL N. MORRISON | MARCH 18, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/18/in-its-first-year-bidens-hhs-relentlessly-attacked-christians-and-unborn-babies/

becerra

March 18 marks one year since pro-abortion radical Xavier Becerra was confirmed as President Joe Biden’s appointee for secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Although both men claim to be faithful Catholics, they have launched unprecedented attacks on people of faith by eliminating vital conscience and religious freedom protections and funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to the abortion industry.

At the HHS Accountability Project at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., we have been keeping tabs on HHS personnel and policy. The oft-heard maxim “personnel is policy” is no exception for HHS, the largest federal agency by budget. While Becerra was AWOL on the Covid fight, he was outright zealous on culture war issues, leading HHS’s singular focus on pushing pro-abortion and anti-religion policies on the American people.

Here are the top 10 lowlights for year one.

1. Dismantling HHS’s Conscience and Religious Freedom Division

One of Becerra’s early acts as secretary was to strip the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of its independent ability to investigate violations of conscience and religious freedom laws. The division was created during the Trump administration to guarantee enforcement rather than neglect of laws that protect these fundamental and inalienable rights.

Becerra’s first budget proposal would have effectively eliminated this division as a standalone entity, despite Becerra having promised Congress that “the work [of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division] will not change.” He, along with OCR political staff (such as political ideologue Laura Durso), refused to even consult with the dedicated career professionals of the division while they methodically removed conscience and religious freedom protections from the American people.

These developments were foreshadowed by transgender activist Dr. Rachel Levine who, prior to being elevated to the number-three position at HHS, proclaimed the division should be “either disbanded or certainly redirected.” 

2. Removing OCR’s First Amendment Enforcement Power

Becerra removed OCR’s authority to enforce conscience and religious projections under the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the First Amendment. A leaked memo revealed this move came at the request of Lisa Pino, the Biden-appointed director of OCR. She is tasked with enforcing civil rights protections in health and human services, not finding ways to remove them.

Remember, it was HHS under Obama that went after the Little Sisters of the Poor and lost under RFRA. Now Becerra has removed the only internal entity that would hold HHS accountable to the law.

3. Pushing a Ridiculously ‘Woke’ Budget

The Biden-Becerra HHS budget for fiscal year 2022 removed references to “conscience,” “religion,” and “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.” But don’t worry, the new budget replaces references to these constitutional and statutory rights HHS is responsible for enforcing with a bunch of woke terms like “equity” — the Biden administration’s preferred priority.

4. Backing Forcing Nuns to Pay for Abortion

While Becerra was attorney general of California before becoming HHS secretary, OCR issued two notices of violation against Becerra and his state for violating federal conscience protections by forcing nuns (and others) to provide insurance coverage of abortion. Apart from the clear conflict of interest with Becerra leading the very office that previously found him in violation of the law, OCR under Becerra “reassessed” the conscience violations, magically finding there were none.

5. Abandoning Nurse Illegally Forced to Participate in Abortion

In 2019, OCR found a hospital had violated a nurse’s conscience rights by forcing her to participate in an abortion over her known conscience objection. When the hospital refused to change its policies to comply with the law, the federal government sued the hospital in federal court.

But on Becerra’s watch and despite his many promises to continue enforcing federal conscience laws, the Biden administration quietly dismissed the case without any settlement, agreement, or compensation for the nurse. Because federal conscience protection laws do not provide a private right of action, she cannot sue on her own and the violating hospital has been let off with impunity.

6. Relentlessly Pushing Abortion With Federal Resources

In response to Texas’ law protecting unborn children with beating hearts from abortion, the Biden-Becerra HHS announced, despite prohibitions on federal funds going to abortion, ways the department could “bolster access to safe and legal abortions in Texas.” HHS is awarding $10 million in additional funding to increase access to abortifacients for those affected by the Texas law.

OCR issued pro-abortion guidance explaining how a federal conscience protection law can protect abortion providers and patients seeking abortions. If HHS’s actions weren’t clear enough, Becerra stated, “We are telling doctors and others involved in the provision of abortion care, that we have your back.” Becerra and OCR clearly don’t want to enforce the law for those who do not want to participate in abortion.

7. Directly Funding Big Abortion

Becerra, who has oddly and repeatedly refused to acknowledge that partial-birth abortion is illegal, led HHS’s charge to fund Big Abortion. In 2021, Planned Parenthood received more than $5.4 million in taxpayer funds from HHS, an amount that is sure to increase over the next three years.

In an effort to further fund Planned Parenthood, the Biden-Becerra HHS ignored democratic norms to rush through new Title X regulations. Title X is a federal program that provides grants for a range of family planning services, but per the statute, such services cannot include abortion.

The new regulations, however, remove the requirement of physical and financial separation between Title X projects and abortion services, require abortion counseling and referrals, and remove conscience protections for Title X providers. Planned Parenthood had dropped out of the Title X program under those regulations, forfeiting that funding stream, but under the new regulations the abortion giant is expected to receive significant Title X funding.

8. Comingling Insurance Payments for Abortion

Last summer, HHS rushed through new insurance regulations that, contrary to the text of the Affordable Care Act, no longer require separate insurance payments for abortion services, allowing those payments to be comingled with payments for other covered services. Besides violating the law, combined payments create a lack of transparency and accountability. Consumers with conscience objections to abortion will no longer be on notice that their insurance plan covers abortion or that they are subsidizing abortions, including for any adult children on their plan.

9. Rescinding Faith-Based Waivers

Prompting a congressional inquiry, the Biden-Becerra HHS gratuitously rescinded waivers previously issued to faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in MichiganSouth Carolina, and Texas that allowed the agencies to qualify for HHS grants while operating in accordance with their deeply held religious beliefs. In the press release announcing the rescission, Becerra unironically stated: “At HHS, we treat any violation of civil rights or religious freedoms seriously.”

Please. This action comes on the heels of a unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court affirming the constitutional right of foster-care agencies to act according to their religious beliefs on human sexuality in certifying foster parents.  

10. Issuing Totalitarian Anti-Conscience Rules

HHS announced its new interpretation and enforcement of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act that would force health-care professionals to perform gender transition surgeries and provide minors with harmful and sterilizing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. A new rule codifying this interpretation is anticipated in April and would likely not exempt providers with medical or conscience objections. HHS is also planning to rescind conscience regulations that protect health-care professionals from being forced to assist with abortions and protect others from having to pay for abortions.


Rachel N. Morrison is an attorney and fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she works on EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project.

After judge’s ruling against Obamacare, what happens now?


Associated Press | Monday December 17, 2018

WASHINGTON (December 17, 2018) — A federal judge’s ruling would, if upheld, wipe away the entire Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul championed by President Barack Obama and twice sustained by the Supreme Court.

Judge Reed O’Connor’s opinion was issued late Friday and supporters of the law vowed to appeal and take other steps to preserve health benefits in the law sometimes called Obamacare. (See weekend story)

Some questions and answers about O’Connor’s ruling:

WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE EFFECT OF THE RULING FOR AMERICANS COVERED UNDER THE ACA?

In a word, nothing. Although O’Connor said the entire law must fall, he did not grant a request from its opponents to have his ruling take effect immediately. That means that all the law’s provisions remain in effect. The federal Health and Human Services Department put out a statement making clear that it “will continue administering and enforcing all aspects of the ACA as it had before the court issued its decision.”

HOW WOULD THE AVERAGE PERSON’S HEALTH CARE BE AFFECTED IF THE RULING IS UPHELD?

The impact would go well beyond the more than 20 million people who are directly covered through the Obama health law.

More than 170 million Americans are covered by employers and they could lose no-cost preventive care, from screening tests like colonoscopies to birth control for women. Employers would no longer be required to keep young adult children of their workers covered up to age 26. Gone would be limits on annual out-of-pocket expenses, which provide greater financial protection for people with job-based coverage. Another kind of limit — lifetime caps on what insurance will pay for medical bills — could stage a comeback.

Medicare would be affected because the ACA expanded no-cost coverage of preventive services and reduced the bills of seniors with high prescription drug costs. Program finances would also take a hit. Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income people, was expanded under the ACA. So about 12 million people who gained coverage could be left uninsured. Efforts to counter the opioid epidemic would be dealt a severe blow, since Medicaid has become a mainstay for treatment.

HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets offering subsidized private insurance would disappear, potentially leaving 10 million people or more uninsured.

WHAT WAS THE JUDGE’S REASONING IN STRIKING DOWN THE ENTIRE HEALTH CARE LAW?

A key part of the Affordable Care Act that Obama signed into law in 2010 was the provision requiring people to have health insurance or pay a penalty if they refused. The Supreme Court upheld this individual mandate in 2012. Congress reduced that penalty to zero as part of the tax legislation it passed and President Donald Trump signed in 2017. That means that beginning in January, there no longer will be a penalty for not purchasing health insurance.

O’Connor agreed with Texas and other Republican-led states that challenged the law that the elimination of the penalty rendered the requirement to have health insurance unconstitutional. In a crucial step in his logic, O’Connor then held that because the individual mandate is so important to the overall law, the whole thing can no longer stand. The legal explanation is that O’Connor found that the mandate could not be severed from the rest of the law, meaning he struck it down in its entirety.

HOW LIKELY IS IT THAT HIGHER COURTS WILL AGREE WITH O’CONNOR’S RULING?

Even some opponents of the health care law, including the Wall Street Journal editorial page, have said O’Connor went too far and predicted he would be reversed in the appeals process. Congress did indeed render the individual mandate unenforceable when it reduced the penalty for not complying to zero. But that very same Congress left the rest of the law intact. What’s more, Republican efforts to repeal the ACA failed in the same Congress. In addition, even if the federal appeals court that oversees Texas were to agree with O’Connor, it seems improbable at best that Chief Justice John Roberts, who twice wrote opinions upholding the law — in 2012 and 2015, would now strike it down.

WHO WILL APPEAL THE RULING, AND HOW LONG MIGHT THE PROCESS TAKE?

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the leader of a coalition of states defending the law in court, already has promised to appeal. The process will take months at a minimum, even with the states pressing for a speedy resolution because of the uncertainty O’Connor’s ruling creates and the potential effects on the insurance markets.

If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit reverses O’Connor, chances that the Supreme Court would hear the case are slim. If the 5th Circuit agrees with O’Connor, high court review becomes very likely because the justices almost always weigh in when a federal law has been struck down. But even then, the Supreme Court wouldn’t hear the case before the fall of 2019 at the earliest, with a decision unlikely before the spring of 2020 — in the midst of the presidential and congressional campaigns.

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