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Their Bodies, Our Bucks: Should taxpayers foot the bill for gender reassignment surgery?
National Review ^ | 07/02/2014 | Spencer Case

Posted on 07/02/2014 2:39:42 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick wants to force taxpayers to foot the bill for gender reassignment surgery.

Patrick announced two administrative actions in June to provide Medicaid coverage for sex-change surgery. Oregon and California taxpayers already pay for sex changes through Medicaid. The same day Patrick made his announcement, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance moved to prohibit private insurers from excluding individuals undergoing sexual transition from coverage.

The measures follow a May 30 decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reverse a 33-year-old policy to exclude those treatments from Medicare coverage. A few days earlier, the mayor of Rochester, New York announced that municipal employees will have access to “transition-related healthcare coverage” beginning next year.

Many have heralded these measures as significant advances for the health and rights of those suffering from gender dysphoria, a condition in which one’s biological anatomy does not correspond to the gender with which one identifies. Lamda Legal compiled this list of statements by major medical organizations, such as the American Medical Association (AMA), showing support for the transgendered in their plight for gender dysphoria treatment.

The ACLU “blog of rights,” reacting to the news of the changed HHS policy, declared: “This takes us one big step closer to our ultimate goal: a general recognition in America that transition-related care is basic health care for transgender people that no one should be denied.”

Nevertheless, there are empirical grounds for doubting whether gender reassignment surgery is effective enough to deserve public subsidy.

A review of more than 100 studies by the University of Birmingham suggests gender reassignment surgery does not improve these dismal numbers. It “found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.”

Likewise, a Swedish study noted high suicide rates and other mortal problems among people who had undergone gender reassignment surgery. That study did not draw gender reassignment surgery into question, but concluded that the surgery should be supplemented with additional care.

There is also evidence that gender dysphoria can be resolved without surgical intervention.

A 2008 study of 77 gender-dysphoric children in the Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry. The study concluded: “Most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty.”

Walt Heyer, who had his sex change surgery reversed, can attest to the flexibility of gender identity. He now operates the website and authors books to draw attention to the phenomenon of sex change regret, which he says is far more common than generally believed.

“People don’t fare well in life experience after undergoing gender surgery,” Heyer tells National Review Online. “So it’s always kind of troubling for me why we would pay for something . . . that is actually over the long run, [going to] be more harmful than if we left the person alone and dealt with the psychological component.”

Occasionally, cases of gender regret receive media attention.

Mike Penner, a writer for the Los Angeles Times became Christine Daniels after gender reassignment surgery, but then came back to the newspaper as a man and was said to be dissatisfied with his decision. He died in 2009, apparently by suicide.

Ria Cooper, whose male-to-female gender reassignment surgery at age 17 made him/her into the Britain’s youngest transsexual, sought to “re-transition” only a year after the surgery.

Last year, a Belgian female-to-male transsexual, Nathan Verhelst, elected to be euthanized in order to escape “unbearable psychological suffering” after his “botched” gender reassignment surgery made him into “a monster.”

Ben Klein, a senior lawyer of the Massachusetts-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), says the push to publically fund gender reassignment surgery is driven by science, not ideology.

“There are people who will have their philosophical views,” Klein (whose groups is not affiliated with GLAAD, the former Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) tells NRO. “But for those people who want to deny people healthcare based on their philosophical views, they are simply flying in the face of mainstream medicine in the world today.”

Klein added that patients with gender dysphoria must undergo a series of rigorous tests, and must be carefully observed before they can become eligible for gender reassignment surgery.

“You can’t just call up a surgeon and order up a gender reassignment surgery,” he said.

Klein didn’t comment on the University of Birmingham study, but said mainstream science has arrived at a consensus in favor of gender reassignment surgery for extreme cases of gender dysphoria. In support, he cited the pages of studies and statements supporting gender reassignment surgery in the recent HHS decision. One study of Swedish transsexuals cited in the decision found no cases of regret among a group of 60 five years after sex change surgery.

Heyer, however, says he has found no compelling objective evidence that gender reassignment surgery is effective treatment for gender dysphoria. He dismisses the supportive statements by the AMA and other mainstream groups as being driven by ideology rather than science and medicine.

“The people who gain from this really are the people who are trying to transform the whole social concept of gender,” he said. “We’re really on a course for trying to eliminate gender, male and female, that’s where this is all coming from.”

If Heyer is right, gender reassignment surgery does not seem like a pressing public health priority.

— Spencer Case is an intern at National Review.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: surgery; transgender

1 posted on 07/02/2014 2:39:43 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

NO.. but I’d be happy to chip in a few bucks for a lobotomy.

2 posted on 07/02/2014 2:41:13 PM PDT by maddog55 (A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.)
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To: SeekAndFind

No, never. Private pay or private charity.

3 posted on 07/02/2014 2:42:09 PM PDT by Tax-chick (If I die before I wake, feed Jake.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Same with abortion, they scream it’s their bodies, and we must pay for it.

Our culture, our society is ruined, it will only get worse until the whole thing implodes.

God Help Us!

4 posted on 07/02/2014 2:45:19 PM PDT by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: SeekAndFind

In the case of some of these child rapists and molesters, yeah, I’d be in favor of picking up the tab for that. With or without the consent of the “reassigned”.

5 posted on 07/02/2014 2:47:11 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: SeekAndFind

No money for our wounded warriors, but we have money for sex changes for the deviates, and the throngs of illegals flooding America.

6 posted on 07/02/2014 2:50:15 PM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Herr Obozo, the Sunni Won-Doer, will not divert $'s from his war on Americans to help our Veterans!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Short answer: No.

Long answer: Noooooooooooo.

7 posted on 07/02/2014 2:55:04 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: maddog55

You can’t lobotomize an empty skull.

8 posted on 07/02/2014 2:59:11 PM PDT by Dalberg-Acton
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To: SeekAndFind

Let’s test the hypothesis with an example.

“I am a total sex stud trapped in an ordinary bod with a mediocre sex organ”.

“Gubment must arrange surgery to free the real me from the body I am trapped in.”

Not convincing, eh?

How about:
“I am the most intelligent mind since Einstein, trapped in a body incapable of scoring over 350 on the math SAT even after tutoring.”

Gubment must pay for a brain transplant for me.”

The first could be done but should only be done on my dime. The second can’t be done, regardless of whose dime.

9 posted on 07/02/2014 3:00:32 PM PDT by GladesGuru (Islam Delenda Est. Because of what Islam is - and for what Muslims do.)
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To: SeekAndFind

1) You can't change your gender: Have you ever heard of Body Integrity Identity Disorder? Long story short, there are people out there who believe they're "supposed to" have less limbs. Maybe they want to get rid of an arm or a leg. The "problem" these people run into is that surgeons consider it unethical to remove a healthy, functioning body part and refuse to saw off their limbs. Instead, they just refer these people to a psychologist. That seems to make sense, doesn't it?

Yet, when we have people who want to mutilate themselves to "change their sex," we don't treat that as a mental disorder. Instead, we take it seriously. So seriously in fact, we have 9 year olds getting hormone treatments so they can pretend to be another gender.

If a client went to a doctor and said he thought he was a cow, we wouldn't send him to a surgeon to get horns and udders attached. Yet, you can no more change your sex than you can change into a cow. Even if you have a "sex change," your sex hasn't actually changed. A man who mutilates himself to look like a woman, still isn't female. He can't have a child. Very few men are going to knowingly date a man who's surgically mutilated himself to look like a woman. This is a terrible, horrible thing we're doing as a society to these mentally ill people. Instead of getting them the mental help they need, we're catering to their pathology. It's cruel, it's wrong, and a more compassionate society wouldn't wallow so deeply in political correctness that we'd allow people to do this to themselves.

10 posted on 07/02/2014 3:00:41 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: SeekAndFind

Back when I had insurance, I had to argue with the company over whether foot surgery to end intractable pain that limited how far I could walk was lifestyle or necessary. My doctor got involved and wrote a letter about the deterioration that was happening. So, I got the surgery. I’d say changing your penis into a vagina (or vice versa) is lifestyle surgery.

Oh, and as a side note, nothing that has been touched by a surgeon’s knife ever feels quite right again. I can’t imagine what such devastatingly invasive surgery would do for sexual function. I went to to see what was involved. I made it to the point where the doctor took a scalpel and cut off the penis. I nearly feinted.

11 posted on 07/02/2014 3:07:25 PM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: SeekAndFind

Just asking the question shows the level of insanity that prevails in the nation today.

12 posted on 07/02/2014 3:17:13 PM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: SeekAndFind

Of course not. Insurance is already covering so many things it shouldn’t. Health insurance should only cover unexpected or out-of-the ordinary NECESSITIES.

13 posted on 07/02/2014 3:19:05 PM PDT by grania
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To: SeekAndFind

We should not have to pay for this. It’s a payback to the dem party’s major contributors.

14 posted on 07/02/2014 3:19:18 PM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible. Complicit in the destruction of this country.)
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To: Gen.Blather
I went to to see what was involved. I made it to the point where the doctor took a scalpel and cut off the penis. I nearly feinted.

That's what Loreena Bobbitt did.

She feinted this way and that, and then she sliced and diced.

15 posted on 07/02/2014 3:20:18 PM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: Gen.Blather

I saw that same video and I recoiled in horror. They didn’t remove the penis,though. It was turned outside-in, if you will, creating a ‘vagina’ that is really nothing more than a hole.

I can’t imagine how painful it would be to undergo such ‘surgery’. I know all surgery is painful but genital mutilation must be the absolute worst.

16 posted on 07/13/2014 4:36:41 PM PDT by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (Well......Bye.)
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