December 17, 2017 / 2:40 AM / in a year

Trump administration bans selected words at health agencies: paper

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he talks to the media on South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to Camp David, December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration has told agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to avoid using certain words or phrases in official documents being drafted for next year’s budget, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

The newspaper said one of the agencies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was given a list of seven prohibited words or phrases: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

Officials at a second agency were also told to use “Obamacare” instead of the Affordable Care Act to describe President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law and to use “exchanges” instead of “marketplaces” in reference to venues where people can buy federally subsidized health insurance, the Post reported.

The HHS pushed back on the report.

“The assertion that HHS has ‘banned words’ is a complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process,” spokesman Matt Lloyd said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

The newspaper said State Department documents also now refer to sex education as “sexual risk avoidance.”

A briefing at the second HHS agency relied on a document from the White House Office of Management and Budget, which oversees President Donald Trump’s annual budget proposal to Congress, according to the Post.

The Post said no explanations were given for the language changes.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Alistair Bell

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