Editor's Note: This is part II in a series. Part I can be found here.
The executive branch isn’t the only arena in which the Obama affirmative action crusade will be felt over the next four years. The legislative branch, too, offers manifold opportunities for mischief. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-148), or “Obamacare,” for example, offers a generous supply of tripwire. Section 5301, which defines criteria for federal aid to medical schools, contains a subsection, “Priorities in Making Awards.” It states: “The Secretary [of Health and Human Services] shall give priority to qualified applicants that…have a record of training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups.” Section 5303, which spells out criteria for aid to schools of dentistry, contains similar language. In neither case does the law specify what constitutes “a record.” One thus can expect medical and dental schools to do everything possible to boost minority enrollment, including lowering admission standards, in order to stay clear of being sued. Lowering the standards among today’s students almost by necessity undermines the quality of tomorrow’s health care professionals.
The Obama-backed Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203, or the Dodd-Frank law) also contains a cornucopia of racial favoritism. The law, among other things, gives banks a window of opportunity to escape safety and soundness requirements if they lend heavily to blacks and Hispanics, especially in neighborhoods where they predominate. An orderly liquidation of an insolvent institution, states the law, should “take into account actions to avoid or mitigate potential adverse effects on low-income minority or underserved communities affected by the failure of the covered financial company.” The legislation also created a Financial Stability Oversight Council, to be headed by the Treasury Secretary, which would consider a struggling financial institution’s “importance as a source of credit for low-income, minority or underserved communities” before taking it over. The law also creates an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion within the Treasury Department, the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other federal housing-related finance agencies.
Carl F. Horowitz is director of the Organized Labor Accountability Project of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Townhall.com Gold Partner organization dedicated to promoting ethics in American public life.
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