GLOBALISM, COLLECTIVISM, AND STUPIDISM
By Phyllis Spivey
"We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will learn presently."
From the novel, 1984, by George Orwell
It’s another of those government edicts that make you think the world has gone mad: Executive Order 13166. In the last months of his presidency, Bill Clinton evidently decided it wasn’t enough to merely force taxpayers to subsidize services to non-citizen, non-English speakers. So he by-passed Congress with a mandate that bestows vast new powers on the federal bureaucracy, trashes states’ rights, individual rights, and what’s left of the free enterprise system. And the Bush Administration is implementing it.
Executive Order 13166 directs all federal agencies to adopt plans for improving access to federally funded programs for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). In effect, the scheme shifts responsibility away from people with language problems and puts it squarely on any American who offers a public or private service in any way touched by federal funding, including health, education, emergency, transportation, and social services, job training, consumer and environmental protection, law enforcement, courts, public and private contractors, subcontractors and vendors.
It gets worse. According to the pro-U.S.Constitution legal group, Pacific Legal Foundation (www.pacificlegal.org), Bill Lan Lee who at Clinton’s insistence became the government’s chief civil rights lawyer, was a vigorous proponent of multilingual government. Lee took the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin and expanded "national origin" to include "language." Clinton codified Lee’s new definition in EO 13166 and Bush’s Department of Justice has built policy around it.
The legal implications are enormous. Realize that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has reported as many as 500 different languages and dialects spoken by persons residing in the U.S. and you begin to understand the magnitude of the mandate and its ultimate effects on the lives of Americans.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)responded to EO 13166's call to action by issuing rules only a collectivist could love. The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), with the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and ProEnglish, filed suit in 2004 to block HHS from enforcing its requirements (Colwell v. U.S. Dept. Of HHS). PLF’s description of HHS rules explains why:
HHS forces doctors who have any Medicare or Medicaid patients to provide interpreters and translators – and ensure their competency – for any patient who has limited or no English speaking skills or face possible prosecution for intentional discrimination under the federal Civil Rights Act!
HHS requires the costs of hihring interpreters and translators to be borne entirely by the physician, even at a net loss. The federal government contributes nothing to this huge financial and administrative cost;
Medical providers can protect themselves from legal attack by HHS only by surrendering to the bureaucrats and passing on the costs of this unfunded mandate to their patients, or by simply turning away all Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Dr. Jane Orient, M.C., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, points out that the rules are so broad and vague physicians will never be sure they are in compliance. "It requires them to divert attention and resources away from patients. Moreover, the edict "gives patients who claim lack of English proficiency the right to sue the doctor any time there is a less than perfect outcome..."
ProEnglish, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of English as a common language in America, warns the cost of implementing EO 13166 at all levels of government could easily cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, while taxpayers as consumers would pay again as businesses pass on their compliance costs. In reality, the costs of a globalistic, multilingual society where an all-powerful federal government determines even how people communicate with each other, are incalculable.
Inevitably, such policies prompt non-English speaking malcontents to demand total surrender. In Riverside, California last month, a Latino crane operator failed a safety certification test. Two weeks later he sued the state of California, claiming his rights were violated because he wasn’t allowed to take the test in Spanish.
Never mind that we’re talking serious safety issues here; crane safety manuals are printed in English, operators must be able to complete required records, report unsafe conditions, and communicate at the work site. And never mind that the man has been in the country for 20 years!
One wonders if the crane operator – or his attorney – knew that on March 8 a federal District Court had ruled against PLF’s lawsuit. Judge Barry Moskowitz said the plaintiffs "did not demonstrate that they had been or would be injured by the translator requirement."
PLF says the court got it wrong. "Our clients, like all physicians who receive federal reimbursement for providing health services, face civil rights charges if they don’t provide translator services, and they face significant financial hardship if they do comply." PLF is appealing the ruling to the Ninth Circuit.
But for California doctors with Latino patients, the president of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, Dr. Satya Chatterjee, has advanced another idea. It comes amid reports that the state’s aging Latinos are the fastest growing group in the baby-boomer category and, due to greater health woes, are likely to be heavy users of medical services. Dr. Chatterjee’s advice? (Are you listening, doctors?) Learn a second language!
Author’s Note: Founded in 1973, Pacific Legal Foundation (www.pacificlegal.org) has successfully battled government abuse on many fronts, is renowned for fighting confiscation of private property rights, special preferences on the basis of race and sex, and misguided environmental laws, and for "rescuing liberty from the grasp of government power."