The Trump Administration Just Rolled Back An Essential Piece of Our Healthcare Infrastructure, and Medical Professionals Are Speaking Out

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House on June 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Trump’s administration recently enacted another blow to the American healthcare system. Early in July, it was announced that they would be deleting 20 years' worth of critical medical guidelines. This vast database of guidelines has been a treasure trove of critical information used by doctors and other medical professionals for the last two decades. The database went “dark” on July 16th, due to lack of funding.

As part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) maintained the database known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC).


The following message was posted on the AHRQ website:

The NGC was originally created in 1998 by AHRQ in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans (now America's Health Insurance Plans). This partnership ended in 2002. The contract that supports the NGC ends this month and funds are not available to continue support for the NGC. AHRQ's decision to close the NGC has elicited significant feedback from the healthcare field, and the Agency appreciates the passionate support that users have expressed. AHRQ is exploring options to support the NGC in the future and will continue to do so even while the site remains offline.

Although many non-professionals may have never heard of the database, many medical professionals believe that the database was the most important source for evidence-based research.

“Guideline.gov was our go-to source, and there is nothing else like it in the world. It is a singular resource,” said Valerie King, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Research at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University.

The database, which was housed online, received 200,000 unique visitors per month.

Essentially a repository of medical cheat sheets, the database contained compilations of the latest, most relevant medical research. This research was used to conduct best-practice clinical work.

Research included everything from HIV research to a timeline for how and when to start a patient on insulin. The NGC was considered to be one of the most extensive, accurate and reliable sources of information available to the medical profession.

“In times past, there were an awful lot of, let me put air quotes around this — ‘guidelines’ — that weren’t of good methodologic quality. They were typically just expert opinions, or what we jokingly refer to as BOGSAT guidelines: ‘bunch of guys sitting around a table’ guidelines,” said King.

The NGC often played an unbiased, non-partisan role in terms of best-clinical practices and evidence-based research.

“Many guidelines are actually written mainly for commercial purposes or public relations purposes. The organizations writing the guidelines may be getting millions of dollars from big drug companies that want to promote a product. The people writing them may have similar conflicts of interest,” said Roy Poses, a representative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Historically, both the AHRQ and the NGC have been targets of conservative lawmakers. Both House Republicans, and President Trump, have proposed eliminating it entirely. Until now, they had never acted on that plan. Since 2010, AHRQ has suffered a $120 loss to its budget.

The annual operating cost of guideline.gov, the website that hosts the database, was estimated at $1.2 million. Given the importance of the database to the American health care system, how is it possible that the Trump administration wasn't able to find the extra $1 million to keep it running?

Win McNamee/Getty Images // CBS Television Distribution

In December, President Donald Trump established the United States Space Force, a sixth branch of the United States Army.

The goal of the force is to protect United States assets in outer space from foreign rivals and is slated to cost around $2 billion in the next five years.

Today, Trump unveiled the official logo for the Space Force, but people think it bears a striking resemblance to another iconic symbol.

Keep reading...
Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images // JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

People were stunned this past July when President Donald Trump tweeted that four Congresswomen of color—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)—should "go back" to where they came from.

He also falsely claimed they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe..."

Three of the Congresswomen were born in the United States. Omar was a refugee from Somalia. All are Americans.

At a campaign rally days later in North Carolina, President Donald Trump mentioned Congresswoman Omar—and got a strong reaction from the crowd.

While bigotry is common at a Trump rally, it became even more blatant when Trump's supporters began chanting "Send her back," echoing the calls from Trump's tweet for them to "go back" to where they came from.

Keep reading...
Fox News

As Democratic House impeachment managers make their case against President Donald Trump, one of his favorite news networks is going to lengths to keep the bevy of evidence against him from reaching their viewers' ears.

At first, Fox News tried scrolling Trump's so-called accomplishments alongside live video of the historic proceedings. Now, the network's latest attempt to distract from the Democrats' arguments is raising eyebrows even higher.

Keep reading...
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images // Alex Wong/Getty Images

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was one of the first witnesses in the House of Representatives' initial impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Vindman testified before the House's select committee on impeachment late last year after hearing Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Keep reading...
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The administration of President Donald Trump relies on its white Evangelical base to keep its support consistently hovering around 40 percent.

In keeping with this, President Donald Trump often invokes anti-abortion values he claims to hold dear. He's falsely claimed that Democrats are determined to rip babies from their mothers' wombs and that parents often discuss with their doctors whether or not to keep the baby...after the baby is born.

These claims are patently false, but they rile up the base.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems to be playing right along in promoting abortion hysteria, if a recent speech is any indication.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After hours of evidence presented by the House Impeachment managers in the Senate trial against President Donald Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) strayed even further into the abyss of fanaticism as he defended the President to reporters.

Graham, a Trump critic turned ally, didn't attempt to refute any of the myriad evidence laid out by Democrats, but instead dismissed the claims that Trump did anything wrong when he withheld congressionally approved aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his political rival.

Keep reading...