Politician tries to exclude trans kids from state healthcare
A politician in Pensylvania has attempted to exclude transgender kids from healthcare.
The lawmaker, Senator Donald White, last week attempted to attach an amendment to the renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The amendment could impact a range of services medically necessary for trans kids.
It reads: “The benefit package for eligible children may not include reimbursement for gender or sex reassignment surgery or gender or sex transition services, including, but not limited to, physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prescribed drugs or counseling services related to such surgery or services.”
White went on to say that it would be “irresponsible” for state-funded healthcare to be used for “sex change procedures”.
He added: “This program provides vital health care services for Pennsylvania’s children. It is irresponsible to allow its limited resources to be used for sex change procedures.”
Despite White’s assertion that his amendment is only intended to be applied to surgeries, it is unclear whether it would apply to other services.
It is possible that the amendment could be used to justify blocking access to prescriptions for puberty blockers or hormones or other services.
The amendment, as it refers to “or gender or sex transition services” that it could block access to healthcare for any trans young person wishing to affirm their gender identity.
White’s amendment also doesn’t acknowledge that generally minors do not undergo gender confirmation surgeries in the US.
The majority of trans people who undergo the surgery only do so after they have reached adulthood.
But CHIP applies to people in Pennsylvania until they turn 19, whereas the age of medical consent is 18.
So the amendment could still apply to trans people aged 18 to 19 who wish to undergo gender confirmation surgery.
CHIP applies to 174,000 young people in Pennsylvania.
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The amendment has already been passed by the Senate Banking and INsurance Committee, of which White is the Chair.
It will now be considered by the House.
Pennyslvania is one of 32 states in the US which does not offer any nondiscrimination protections for LGBT+ people.