A proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would require insurers to cover transgender surgeries, cross sex hormones and puberty blockers as “medically necessary gender-affirming care” to treat those struggling with their gender identity.
The proposed rule would add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) nondiscrimination protections.
Currently, health insurers cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, or sex.
The rule including “sexual orientation and gender identity” was originally proposed and adopted in 2013 under the Obama administration. But under the Trump administration, HHS removed “sexual orientation and gender identity” as bases of discrimination.
Now, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra is attempting to revive it once more.
In a lengthy comment directed to Secretary Becerra, scholars at the Ethics & Public Policy Center (EPPC) urged HHS “not to finalize the proposed rule, specifically the proposals to add ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’ to the ACA’s nondiscrimination provision.”
“The rule as proposed is arbitrary and capricious, is without legal support, contradicts long-standing scientific understandings of the human person, attempts to evade court injunctions, promotes harm to patients (especially minors), tramples religious freedom, and places ideology ahead of sound medicine,” the EPPC stated.
The EPPC also points out that HHS is “attempting to establish a medical standard of care through nondiscrimination provisions.”
The “standard of care” that HHS is attempting to establish forces health insurers to provide so-called sex change surgeries, cross sex hormones and puberty blockers for those struggling with gender dysphoria. Those “treatments” are harmful and damaging to those who undergo them.
Additionally, adding “gender identity” as a protected category would force hospitals to provide surgeries they medically object to.
For example, a hospital would be required to perform a hysterectomy on a transgender male (biological female) if the individual feels like her uterus shouldn’t be there because she wants to be a male – even if her uterus is medically healthy.
And one of the worst parts of the rule is that it would make it easier for minors to undergo these contra-scientific procedures.
As The Federalist reports, “The rule appears to offer no exclusion for children.”
Roger Severino, a senior fellow at the EPPC, told The Federalist that the rule would “put kids on a transgender treadmill and they don’t get off.”
“Children could take puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones only to regret it later when they have damaged their bodies and may find they are infertile.”
The rule could also force religious hospitals, doctors, and nurses to violate their deeply held religious convictions by forcing them to provide these “treatments.”
Additionally, it’s important to note that HHS Secretary Becerra isn’t only drawing the ire of conservative organizations like the EPPC for this rule – but has also upset other administration officials as well.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House “is apparently experiencing buyer’s remorse over its appointment of Xavier Becerra to run” HHS.
The White House is apparently “‘frustrated’ with Mr. Becerra’s failure to ‘coordinat[e] the nation’s vast health bureaucracy’ to handle the virus, allowing ‘confusing and sometimes conflicting messages.’”
If it wasn’t already clear, naming a radical, pro-abortion, anti-religious freedom crusader with no healthcare experience to head the nation’s lead health agency during a pandemic wasn’t the greatest idea.
“This is the cost of indulging identity politics in a pandemic,” the Journal writes.
All told, the Secretary’s proposed rule is a bad idea with harmful consequences for children and those struggling with their gender identity.
Photo from Reuters.