Judicial Watch • From Nanny State to Tranny State: Medicare to Pay for Sex-Change Surgery

From Nanny State to Tranny State: Medicare to Pay for Sex-Change Surgery

From Nanny State to Tranny State: Medicare to Pay for Sex-Change Surgery

JUNE 03, 2014

The U.S. government’s health program for the elderly and disabled can no longer refuse to pay for the costly sex reassignment operations of transgender patients who claim to have gender identity disorder, according a recent federal board ruling.

First President Obama’s hostile—and disastrous—takeover of the nation’s healthcare system and now American taxpayers must finance sex reassignment operations for transsexuals. For decades Medicare has automatically denied requests for sex reassignments surgeries, but a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) review board recently issued a shocking ruling that acknowledges the procedures as medically necessary and effective treatment for individuals who don’t identify with their biological sex.

Officially known as the HHS Departmental Appeals Board, the panel is an independent entity within the agency and is staffed with career civil servants that wield tremendous power. In fact, the board’s decisions constitute final HHS decisions that can’t be reversed and can only be challenged in federal court. The board’s mission is to provide impartial, independent review of disputed decisions. In this case, a 74-year-old transgender Army veteran, Denee Mallon, disputed Medicare’s refusal to pay for his genital reconstruction surgery.

Mallon, who lives in New Mexico, was born a man, joined the U.S. Army at 17 and worked as a forensics investigator a city police department after leaving the military. He “lived as a woman on and off” since his teen years and “full time since 2009,” according to a national news story. Mallon was later diagnosed with gender identity disorder and he’s been trying to get Medicare to pick up the tab for gender reassignment surgery, which can run anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. Since 1981 Medicare recipients have been ineligible for transsexual surgery.

The HHS board ruling changes this by eliminating Medicare’s blanket exclusion on transsexual operations. Justifying the change, the panel said that studies and experts have shown the efficacy of surgical interventions as a treatment for gender dysphoria, a diagnosis issued to those who undergo extreme distress over a disconnect between their gender at birth and the one they identify with. “Transgender surgery is a treatment option for the medical condition of transsexualism,” the ruling says, further stating that the National Coverage Determination (NCD) “recognized that transsexualism is a diagnosed medical condition.”

Here is a description of the medical condition, as per the recent HHS ruling that forces the government to pay for sex-change operations: “The disorder is characterized by intense and persistent discomfort with one’s primary and secondary sex characteristics—one’s birth sex. The suffering that arises is often described as being trapped in the wrong body. The psychiatric term for this severe and unremitting emotional pain is gender dysphoria.”

This is hardly the first time that American taxpayers have been forced to fund transgender benefits. This occurs regularly in prisons across the country where convicted felons, who claim to be diagnosed with “gender identity disorder,” get hormone treatments, laser hair removal and makeup while serving their sentence. For instance Massachusetts pays for the hormone shots of at least four inmates diagnosed with gender identity disorder. Colorado pays for the female hormone treatment of a convicted child molester who is suing the stat to provide him with a gender specialist in hopes that the specialist determines he needs a sex-change operation.

Last year a federal appellate court ruled that denying a transgender bank robber’s sex-reassignment surgery violates the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. That case involves a felon (Michael Stokes) serving a 73-year sentence in Virginia. A federal judge in Roanoke denied the surgery, finding that hormone therapy and psychological counseling provided by the prison are sufficient accommodations for a transgender prisoner. Officials also allow the convict to dress and live as a woman. Determined to get his sex-change operation, the convict took his case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which ruled that Virginia prisons can’t justify providing partial treatment for other medical needs, so why this one?

“By analogy, imagine that prison officials prescribe a painkiller to an inmate who has suffered a serious injury from a fall, but that the inmate’s symptoms, despite the medication, persist to the point that he now, by all objective measure, requires evaluation for surgery,” the appellate court opinion says.  “Would prison officials then be free to deny him consideration for surgery, immunized from constitutional suit by the fact they were giving him a painkiller?”

 

 

 

 

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  • CopperDollar

    Would denying inmates TV’s and soccer fields be “cruel and unusual punishment”? If so, America is dying.

  • m9777

    So, a convicted spy imprisoned for life can get a sex-change operation but honorably discharged and often decorated veterans have to wait months for basic medical care? Whadda country!

  • DeadMessenger

    The apellate court opinion uses a strawman argument, apparently with a straight face. That judge ought to permanently recuse himself (herself?) due to an inability to think critically.




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