Tarrant County’s public hospital system, JPS Health, uses a 100-point scale to evaluate contract bids for vital cardiac medical equipment purchases.

Price and Quality are two factors that can be awarded a total of up to 20 points each. Another factor, however, is the race and gender of the vendor’s owner(s)—which can be awarded up to 15 points.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, this is more than the actual reputation of the vendor’s goods and services (10 points) when evaluating different providers of transcatheter heart valves. These are critical devices designed to sustain blood flow through the body and prevent cardiac failure.

According to the metric, minority-owned firms receive the 15 points automatically. This is different from other firms that are not owned by minorities. Those are evaluated and scored based on minority subcontractors “measured as a percent of the total contract value they receive,” the Beacon reports.

Turning Point USA President Charlie Kirk provided an example on X, saying, “[I]n Tarrant County’s hospitals, a heart valve that patients’ lives will depend that gets just 5/20 on ‘quality’ will be rated the same as the best heart valve available, just as long as the first option is supplied by a minority or a woman.”

He continued—calling for the state of Texas to take action against the metric. “This is insane. This is evil. And most importantly, this is happening in a red state. Texas must ban this kind of sick race-first decision-making immediately.”

Tarrant County GOP Chairman Bo French also posted his thoughts to X, strongly opposing the metric.

“This will not stand. People’s lives are more important than sensitive people’s feelings,” he said.

Texas Scorecard reached out to Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare for comment on what he thinks should be done about JPS Health’s point metric system.

“Practices like these are simply bad policy and bad government,” he said. “Contracts should be awarded based on price and quality, period.”

“The JPS Board needs to clean up this nonsense immediately,” he continued. “There is no place for DEI-scoring in the awarding of any government contracts.”

JPS board members are appointed by the Tarrant County Commissioners.

Texas Scorecard has not heard back from JPS Health at the time of publishing.

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.