US: Louisiana treasurer says ‘sex changes’ are unaffordable under social health care
Citing an announcement in May by President Obama that gender reassignment surgery would be covered by social health care scheme Medicaid, Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has called for the scheme to be “fixed”.
Writing for Daily World, Kennedy notes the estimated cost-per-patient for gender reassignment, and that Medicare would potentially follow suit in providing the surgery.
He also suggests the surgery, used in cases of gender dysphoria, should be removed from the scheme, claiming the state can’t afford to support it.
He wrote: “On May 30, President Obama directed Medicare to begin paying for ‘gender reassignment surgery,’ commonly known as sex change surgery, which costs between $25,000 and $75,000 per patient depending upon the gender chosen. Medicaid will likely follow, as it usually tracks Medicare’s coverage provisions, according to articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
“This additional cost is yet one more reason why Louisiana needs to fix its Medicaid Program before we can no longer afford it.”
The treasurer goes on to give further arguments against the social health care, and suggests that providing gender reassignment surgery under such schemes is not “wise” or “effective”.
“Taxpayers who are asked to pay are entitled to also ask whether their money is being spent wisely and effectively,” he continues.
A US public consultation on whether Medicare and Medicaid should cover gender reassignment surgery was last year put on hold, with the Department of Health and Human Services saying they must first consider a challenge to Medicare’s definition of the surgery as “experimental”.