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‘We Will Use Every Authority’: HHS to Treat Climate as Public-Health Issue.

A New Federal Office Creates Opportunities for Government Overreach.

Photo for: ‘We Will Use Every Authority’: HHS to Treat Climate as Public-Health Issue.

Key Points

  • There’s a new federal office: the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity.
  • It will be approach climate change as a public-health issue.
  • It will be led by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, known for “environmental justice.”

Since March of 2020, the United States has been enrolled in a masterclass on what the government can do in the name of health: lockdowns, curfews, mandates, distancing, proof of status, fines – all done with the intention of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

So what else can the government do in the name of health? It won’t be too long until the American people find out. The Biden administration has created a new office that will treat climate change as a public health issue: the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new office will “offer protections for populations most at risk—including the elderly, minorities, rural communities and children, and the office could eventually compel hospitals and other care facilities to reduce carbon emissions.”

“Its mission is to protect the health of people experiencing a disproportionate share of climate impacts and health inequities from wildfires to drought, to hurricanes to floods,” HHS Secretary and former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a news briefing.

Two red flags go up immediately: the office can “compel” hospitals, and the fact that it’s being run by Xavier Becerra, controversial HHS Secretary who sued the Trump administration more than a dozen times while AG in CA; a big fan of “environmental justice.”

Healthcare administrators are already concerned about the implications of the new office. COVID-19 has put an incredible strain on hospitals and healthcare systems, with many facilities running air-purification systems around the clock; a massive energy commitment. The result – more carbon emissions.

“Financial penalties would not address the root cause of these issues,” said Michelle Hood, COO at the American Hospital Association. “A smarter approach would be to bring hospital leaders, regulators and subject matter experts together to identify effective strategies for meeting the need to provide high-quality, safe healthcare while minimizing the impact on the environment.”

“The agency also could make hospital participation in Medicare and Medicaid contingent on meeting certain environmental goals, according to several public health advocates,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Mr. Becerra is ready to run the playbook he perfected as California AG.  When asked how he’d control hospital carbon emissions, Becerra said, “We will use every authority to its greatest advantage.”

And that’s what we’re afraid of.

[h/t WSJ]