At the beginning of the month, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s attempt to legislate the ‘woke agenda.’ Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump nominee, agreed that last year’s U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) ruling went too far.
In his ruling Kacsmaryk wrote that while Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ individuals from discriminatory hiring practices, that doesn’t cover “necessarily all correlated conduct” including choosing which bathroom and pronouns to use.
The EEOC’s ruling at the heart of the discussion sought to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in the workplace by permitting them to use bathrooms based on their gender identity; not their biological gender.
The Conservative Brief reports:
The EEOC’s guidelines were issued in the wake of a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier found in Bostock v. Clayton County “that Title VII extends to protect individuals in the workplace from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” The Daily Caller reported, adding: “Several LGBT employees sued after losing their jobs because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“Case by case, category by category, controversy by controversy, Justice Gorsuch deferred judgement, stating Bostock decided only what Bostock decided . . . . Curiously, the Guidances imply and Defendants continue to argue that Bostock’s reach exceeds the grasp of its author . . . . Defendants . . . cannot rely on the words and reasoning of Bostock itself to explain why the Court prejudged what the Court expressly refused to prejudge,” Kacmaryk wrote.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the administration in September 2021 over the guidance, arguing that it “increas[ed] for the State in its capacity as an employer — and Burrows did not even have authority to issue it.” He also argued that states have the inherent authority to act under their own policies instead of relying on such specific employer guidance from the federal government.
“The court decision’s is not only a win for the rule of law, but for the safety and protection of Texas children,” Paxton said in a press release. “The Biden Administration’s attempts to radicalize federal law to track its woke political beliefs are beyond dangerous. I will continue to push back against these unlawful attempts to use federal agencies to normalize extremist positions that put millions of Texans at risk.”
The statement also noted:
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller supported this challenge and provided compelling evidence that the rule conflicted with the Department of Agriculture’s authority to set reasonable workplace policies. Paxton later amended the lawsuit to include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a defendant after the agency released a new rule threatening to cut federal funding to states that prohibit “sex-change” procedures and classify it as child abuse. The District Court struck down both rules.
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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.
Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.
According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”
The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.
Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.
Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.
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