Brushing off courts, Becerra brags about blackmailing hospitals for 'gender-affirming care'

Brushing off courts, Becerra brags about blackmailing hospitals for 'gender-affirming care'

Brushing off courts, Becerra brags about blackmailing hospitals for 'gender-affirming care'

After hospitals were threatened with losing Medicaid and Medicare funds if they refuse to perform body-mutilating surgeries on transgender children, a constitutional attorney says the Biden administration needs to be reminded of its legal authority.

Xavier Becerra, who leads Health and Human Services, bragged about the HHS policy to withhold those federal funds during a June talk at Aspen Ideas: Health, a three-day conference of far-left speakers sponsored by the Aspen Institute.

In one appearance, Becerra spoke on stage with Elizabeth Cohen, a CNN senior medical correspondent, who led a friendly Q-and-A session with the radical Biden official.

 “We have issued some guidelines,” Becerra tells the audience, “that say a provider who receives Medicare funding, Medicaid funding, must be prepared to offer gender-affirming care.”

Becerra then acknowledges the legal problem HHS ran in to – court rulings that have blocked that blackmail attempt – but he openly vows to keep pressuring hospitals anyway.

“We unfortunately ran into a couple of circuit courts that said differently, and so we are now in the process of having to work under those rulings,” he shared. “But we're not going to stop everywhere where we have an opportunity at the federal level.”

Reacting to Becerra’s words, attorney Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel says the federal government doesn’t have the “power or authority” to create new rules that can restrict those federal funds hospitals are expecting.

“But what's also shameful,” he tells AFN, “is the continued history of the blatant disregard for constitutional principles and the rule of law.”

Back in the Aspen talk, after admitting HHS is being restricted by the courts, Becerra says HHS doesn’t “control health care” nor control how “gender-affirming care” is provided, or even if it is provided.

“But where we have laws that require you to fulfill your obligations if you want that Medicaid dollar to come to your state,” he vows, “we’re going to make sure you check the box.”

Staver, whose law firm is constantly fighting the federal government in the courts, predicts HHS will be challenged in a courtroom if it keeps pushing trans surgeries and threatening to hurt hospitals and their funding. 

Staver, Mat (Liberty Counsel) Staver

“I'm sure they will try to do so,” he predicts, “but the Biden administration has not fared very well when it brings these things into the courtroom.”

Back in the Aspen talk, even after the HHS secretary openly threatened to punish hospitals, the CNN correspondent did not push back.

“Are you feeling hopeful that this will succeed?” Cohen asks.

“I’m the son of immigrants,” Becerra replies. “Optimism runs in my DNA.”