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Darcie Johnston

Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

Darcie Lang Johnston joined HHS’ Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) at the beginning of the Trump administration after working on the inauguration committee. She became Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in March 2017. Johnston has been active in Vermont Republican politics throughout her career, particularly in the field of health care — she is a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

HOW THEIR ROLE AFFECTS ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

The Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) serves as the link between HHS and the state, local, tribal and non-governmental entities served and affected by its programs, policies and initiatives. The office advises HHS on local perspectives, helps to coordinate and implement initiatives at the local level, facilitates communication between HHS and local entities and coordinates HHS’s ten regional offices.

From her position as director of HHS’ IEA, Johnston greatly influences the implementation of HHS’ federal programs, including the Title X Family Planning Program. Johnston has been a part of the Trump administration’s coordinated effort to undermine the Title X program.     

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT OF NOTE

Special Assistant, IEA, HHS, 2017

Vermont Campaign Manager, Donald Trump Presidential Campaign, 2015 – 2017

Campaign Manager, Randy Brock for Governor, 2011 – 2012

Founder and President, Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, 2011 – present

President, Johnston Consulting (political consulting), 1999 – 2016

Finance Director, James M. Jeffords for Senate Reelection Campaign

Systems Administrator, Constituent Relations, Office of Senator James M. Jeffords

TIES TO OTHER ANTI-CHOICE EXTREMISTS

Laura Trueman:

Johnson’s coworker in IEA, Laura Trueman, is a former congressional staffer, Heritage Foundation employee and lobbyist who is outspoken about her anti-abortion views. Early in her career, Trueman worked on the Reagan administration’s Adolescent Family Planning Program, which was created to serve as an anti-abortion, abstinence-focused alternative to Title X. After fifteen years out of the workforce, she spent five years as a healthcare lobbyist. She then joined the Heritage Foundation, an anti-abortion think tank, where she was director of operations for the organization’s healthcare team. She left to serve as House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s policy advisor and liaison to conservative groups. She is married to prominent anti-abortion attorney Patrick Trueman.

THE WHOLE STORY

Prior To Working In The Federal Agency That Administers Government Health Care Systems, Darcie Johnston Created An Organization To Advocate Against “Government-Run” Health Care Systems

Johnson Created Vermonters For Health Care Freedom To Advocate Against Single-Payer Health Care In Her Home State. “Darcie Johnston posted a call to action to her Vermont Facebook .... ‘For all Vermonters who want Governor Shumlin to tell us how much single payer is going to cost and who is going to pay," Johnston wrote in her late-night post, she then suggested, "Please call Rep. Fisher and demand he pass S.252 out of the House Health as passed by the Vermont Senate. Rep. Fisher has introduced an amendment to gut S. 252.’… she said someone had to sound an alarm. "I talked to other people to see if they were as concerned. I got a lot of support to create an organization totally focused on health care," she said. ‘There was also support for a new voice to speak out on health care and the free market.’ So in March 2011, she founded a nonprofit education organization — Vermonters for Health Care Freedom.” [Burlington Free Press, 4/27/14]

Vermonters For Health Care Freedom Was Criticized For Spreading “Anti-Health Care Misinformation.” “Ben Sarle, communications director for the Vermont Democratic Party, weighed in on her style of advocacy. ‘The rhetoric of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom has been predictable, anti-health care misinformation that falls right in line with national Tea Party obstructionism,’ Sarle said.” [Burlington Free Press, 4/27/14]

Johnston Opposes The Affordable Care Act, Which Guarantees No-Cost Birth Control

Johnston Has Long Been An “Ardent Opponent Of The Federal Affordable Care Act.” “Johnston herself is a longtime political operative who lobbied the Vermont legislature as the head of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom. Her group opposed former Democratic governor Peter Shumlin’s failed plan for government-funded universal health care coverage. She has also been an ardent opponent of the federal Affordable Care Act.” [Seven Days Vermont, 3/9/17]

Connections