US panel sees racial bias in healthcare bill

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Washington, Aug.11 (ANI): The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has labeled some provisions in the House health care bill as being racially discriminatory, and has said hat it will ask President Barack Obama and the Congress to rewrite those sections, as it could be a factor in awarding billions in contracts, scholarships and grants.

The commission also fears the programs, which are designed to improve health care in underserved areas, will not be effective.

"These programs are unlikely to reduce healthcare disparities among racial and ethic groups," according to the draft letter obtained by The Washington Times.

"A growing body of evidence indicates that increasing access to high-quality physicians - whatever their racial or ethnic ancestry - is the best way to mitigate such disparities," the draft letter adds.

The draft letter also cites testimony from Dr. Amitabh Chandra of Harvard University who said the idea that expanding the number of minority physicians and providing "cultural competence training" will bridge the health status gap is "grounded in hope more than science."

The commission approved the draft language by a vote of 4-2, with two abstentions.

The Leadership Council on Civil Rights, a civil rights coalition of nearly 200 national groups, however, accused the commission of overstepping its bounds and becoming too political. It said the commission was attempting to squash equal-opportunity programs. (ANI)

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