The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was not the only agency to receive a list of terms not to include in its official documents and documents related to the 2019 budget.
A Saturday night update to a report from The Washington Post said that unnamed personnel from two other federal agencies confirmed that their organizations received a list like the one received by CDC analysts this week. On the list are an array of terms like “transgender,” “fetus,” “vulnerable,” “science-based” and “diversity.”
Like the CDC, the two additional agencies both fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services. The sources asked that the Post not reveal their identities or the agencies they work for, but confirmed the last of words and reported that the guidelines ordered them to only refer to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as “ObamaCare” and to replace the term “marketplace” with “healthcare exchanges.”
Federal officials blasted the restrictions as “stupid and Orwellian,” even as an HHS spokesperson said that the guidelines are being completely misinterpreted.
“The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” said spokesman Matt Lloyd. “HHS will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans. HHS also strongly encourages the use of outcome and evidence data in program evaluations and budget decisions.”
However, Lloyd declined to name any specific way in which the Post report was inaccurate.
Similar guidelines on word use have reportedly been issued at the State Department.