Despite strong criticism, a federal program continues to operate with its faulty program design.
The Employment Insurance (EI) program differentiates unemployed workers' access to unemployment benefits based on their region of residence (much like a postal code lottery: if you live in region A, you qualify for benefits; if you live in region B, sorry can't help ya!). This design or aspect of the program is called "regional differentiation" (this is a widely known term in the area).
I am trying to capture this in my sentence below. I am using "persist with", but I am not sure if I am using it correctly, and if the whole sentence conveys the intended meaning.
Why does the EI commission persist with regional differentiation? (This is the sentence I want to fix!)
From Cambridge, to persist is to try to do or continue doing something in a determined but often unreasonable way. This is the meaning I want.
Is the preposition "with" correct in this case? I know that "persist in doing something" is the commonly used phrase. I know that "persist with" is used like this: persist with [a course of action]. In my case, "regional differentiation" is the main feature of the EI program.
If I were to write it out in simple terms, it would read like this:
Despite strong criticism, the EI commission continues to differentiate workers' access to benefits based on their region of residence. But why?
What does "persist with X (=compound noun)" mean? Does it mean to continue applying X despite criticism? Does saying "Why does the Commission persist with regional differentiation?" make sense? Does it mean what I am trying to explain?
Note: My reader by now knows what I mean by "reg. differentiation" very well, it has been explained thoroughly before. Here, I am trying to write down a few "questions"- Why this? Why that? and so on. I am just not sure of the use of persist in this case - if it captures the intended meaning.