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HHS Says Healthcare Providers Must Provide Free Translation Services
Pacific Legal Foundation ^ | September 2004 | Pacific Legal Foundation

Posted on 10/08/2004 11:23:47 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes

PLF Challenges Federal HHS English Translation Mandate
Unfunded Illegal Mandate on Doctors and Healthcare Providers
Threatens Access to Care for Countless Seniors on Medicare/Medicaid

September 2004

In one of his many last-minute acts as President, Bill Clinton implemented Executive Order 13166, and dealt a devastating blow to doctors, medical practices, and senior citizens across the nation. This Executive Order is still on the books and has become a catalyst for unprecedented expansion of the federal government?s control of private healthcare in this country.

Signed by Clinton on August 11, 2000, Executive Order 13166 directs all federal agencies to adopt a plan to ?improve access? to federally funded programs for persons who do not speak English. To comply with the order, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concocted a sweeping policy that could have the opposite effect for people who do speak English.

Specifically, HHS is forcing doctors who have any Medicare or Medicaid patients to provide interpreters and translators for any patient who has limited or no English speaking skills or face possible prosecution for intentional discrimination under the federal Civil Rights Act!

The scope of this policy is breathtaking. The HHS policy applies to any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, including hospitals; nursing homes; home health agencies; managed care organizations; programs for families, youth and children; Head Start programs; public and private contractors, subcontractors and vendors; and ?physicians and other providers who receive federal financial assistance from HHS,? among others.

The HHS policy also requires that the costs of hiring interpreters and translators be shouldered entirely by the physician,even at a net loss. With over 300 languages that are reportedly spoken in the United States, this is an enormous financial burden the government is imposing on doctors or medical groups. Yet that is what they are being ordered to do.

It doesn?t take a brain surgeon to see that the HHS policy not only is too burdensome financially, it also threatens access to care for countless American senior citizens who rely on Medicare and Medicaid for their healthcare. That is, the only way doctors and other healthcare practitioners

can protect themselves from legal attack by HHS is to either surrender to the bureaucrats and pass on the costs of this unfunded mandate to their patients, or simply turn away any and all Medicare or Medicaid patients?thus leaving most senior citizens with little or no medical service at all.

Both these choices are unacceptable. Accordingly, Pacific Legal Foundation has filed a major lawsuit challenging this ridiculous HHS policy as unconstitutional and unconscionable. If the HHS policy remains on the books, it will serve as a model for other federal agencies also subject to the Clinton Executive Order. In fact, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice are already adopting policies that would impact other federally funded services.

Cost To Taxpayers Could Run In Billions
According to ProEnglish, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of English as a common language in America, the cost to taxpayers at all levels of government could easily total tens of billions of dollars. And because these policies would force a huge new increase in the size of federal, state, and local budgets at a time when they are already out of control, new tax increases are almost guaranteed. Remember, these costs are in addition to those consumers will have to shoulder when the policies also are applied to private businesses and business owners.

In its December, 2003, public comments to the HHS policy, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons?a nonprofit organization opposing government interference in the one-on-one patient-physician relationship?cited a disturbing example of how physicians and medical groups are being intimidated into applying the federal government?s illegal policy mandating translators and interpreters. A refugee assistance agency in Maryland used federal funds to print cards for its clients to give physicians. It states:

? My name is_________. I have limited English skills and require qualified language assistance in __________. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that your office provide a qualified interpreter for me to have equal access to your services. It is a violation of the law for you to require me to bring my own interpreter . . .?.

What is so outrageous about this statement is that it is NOT THE LAW! Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act simply prohibits the denial of services on the basis of race and national origin. It says nothing about language or language interpreters. But you can see how the HHS policy implementing the Clinton-imposed Executive Order is already promoting a false understanding of what the law truly says.

Unless PLF fights in court to strike down the HHS policy, this false interpretation of the law will itself become ?law,? thus threatening healthcare access for millions of senior citizens who depend on Medicare or Medicaid.

The federal bureaucracy?s implementation of Clinton?s Executive Order 13166 is a classic example of government trying to expand its power far beyond anything our nation?s Founders ever expected. But with your support, PLF will fight hard in court to strike down this illegal unfunded mandate which only encourages physicians and medical groups to distance themselves from federally funded services like Medicare or Medicaid to reduce their risk of getting thrown in jail or fined for noncompliance.
 
* * * * MEDIA KIT * * * *

Legal Documents
Press Statements

 

 
 


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: 13166; aliens; clinton; eo13166; healthcare; hhs; hhsmandate; immigration; mandate; medicaid; medical; medicare; napalminthemorning; pacificlegal; seniors; translate; translation; unfunded; unfundedmandate

...and you wondered why 'Healthcare Costs' are out of Control...?

...and you wondered why Medicare is broke...?

Well, don't get your hopes up... It sure doesn't look like it's going to get better any time soon.

1 posted on 10/08/2004 11:23:47 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes
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To: Seadog Bytes

Between this and Hipaa.. God help us if we get another Democratic President.


2 posted on 10/08/2004 11:25:26 PM PDT by Arizona Carolyn
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To: ConservativeMan55; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; JulieRNR21; Cindy; Smartass; sweetliberty; ...

Your Tax Dollars at 'work'.


3 posted on 10/08/2004 11:26:48 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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To: Seadog Bytes

Bush could rescind the Clinton Executive order with a stroke of his pen. Why hasn't he done so?


4 posted on 10/08/2004 11:27:32 PM PDT by Bogolyubski
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To: Arizona Carolyn

'HIPAA' BUMP!!!


5 posted on 10/08/2004 11:28:09 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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To: Seadog Bytes

Yep...political correctness is a culture killer.


6 posted on 10/08/2004 11:28:34 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: Seadog Bytes
This reminds me, I must renew my contribution to support the Pacific Legal Foundation. My ties to it goes back 30 years, when they began defending property owners from the Bugs and Bunny crowd.

A most underappreciated group, by frustrated people like Freepers.

7 posted on 10/08/2004 11:31:17 PM PDT by Publius6961 (I, also, don't do diplomacy.)
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To: Seadog Bytes
Absurd isn't it?


8 posted on 10/08/2004 11:31:59 PM PDT by LiberalBassTurds (Democrats: The blind leading the stupid enabling the evil.)
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To: Seadog Bytes

including, believe it or not, such "languages" as Klingon

and don't get me started on HIPAA, medicare, or medicaid


9 posted on 10/08/2004 11:42:54 PM PDT by King Prout (yo! sKerry: "Live by the flip, die by the flop." - Frank_Discussion)
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To: King Prout

bttt


10 posted on 10/09/2004 3:20:59 AM PDT by ConservativeMan55 (http://www.osurepublicans.com)
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To: Seadog Bytes
A refugee assistance agency in Maryland used federal funds to print cards for its clients to give physicians.

The Democrats want to keep as many people as possible poor, ignorant, and out of the mainstream of society. That way, they will remain dependent on government bureaucrats and bilingual teachers and non-profit (read government-funded) activist busybodies for the most basic activities of daily life, even going to the doctor or going to school.

The Dems are just poverty farmers, whose rice bowl is only filled by the misery of others.

-ccm

11 posted on 10/09/2004 4:02:35 AM PDT by ccmay
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To: Seadog Bytes

Sometimes I want to toss Jorge W. out on his rotten bum when I reflect Kerry's even worse. Not much of choice we have, do we? :(


12 posted on 10/09/2004 4:04:54 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Bogolyubski
Bush could rescind the Clinton Executive order with a stroke of his pen. Why hasn't he done so?

There's a whole lot that could be done/undone with the stroke of a pen, my next biggest disappointment with this admin., right behind our open border's and the WOT rhetoric. Blackbird.

13 posted on 10/09/2004 4:05:21 AM PDT by BlackbirdSST
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To: goldstategop

Kerry's much worse considering he could elect four or five of the Court justices in his term.


14 posted on 10/09/2004 4:07:11 AM PDT by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: ccmay
RE: "The Democrats want to keep as many people as possible poor, ignorant, and out of the mainstream of society. That way, they will remain dependent on government bureaucrats and bilingual teachers and non-profit (read government-funded) activist busybodies for the most basic activities of daily life, even going to the doctor or going to school."

...BUMP!


15 posted on 10/09/2004 12:34:58 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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To: goldstategop

Sadly...You're RIGHT. ...Kerry WOULD be MUCH worse.


16 posted on 10/09/2004 12:37:53 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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To: Publius6961; All
RE: Pacific Legal Foundation - "A most underappreciated group, by frustrated people like Freepers."

...BUMP!!!

I certainly agree. Here is a link if you want to go see what else they're doing currently... or wish to leave them a little something to help them with their work...

PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION

...and it's Tax-Deductible... Can you Believe it?

(...and no, I do not work for them. - I just appreciate what they do.)


17 posted on 10/09/2004 1:36:08 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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To: LiberalBassTurds
RE: "Absurd isn't it?"

...Yes, beyond words.


18 posted on 10/09/2004 1:37:53 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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To: King Prout

Yes Sir! ...even "Klingon"...!!! ...I think I DO remember reading that article myself a while back.

Even without 'Klingon' however... I understand the count of languages, for which healthcare providers *must* provide "free" translation services, numbers into the *HUNDREDS*.


19 posted on 10/09/2004 2:12:06 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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To: Seadog Bytes

130-odd, IIRC

lunacy, of the purest sort.

my view: you come to my country, you better speak English already, or start learning it immediately.


20 posted on 10/09/2004 2:13:54 PM PDT by King Prout (yo! sKerry: "Live by the flip, die by the flop." - Frank_Discussion)
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To: Cindy

...Sadly.


21 posted on 10/09/2004 2:31:58 PM PDT by Seadog Bytes (Benedict Arnold was ALSO a 'war hero' ...before he became a Traitor.)
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