Friday was a very activist-y day for the Obama administration. While you probably heard about the administration’s directive, aimed to pressure public schools into allowing transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity, you probably didn’t hear about this.
That same day, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a “final regulation” intended to “pressure health insurers to cover sex change operations, which could then be subsidized by taxpayers through Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.”
The agency released its final “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities” rule, which enforces Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
The regulation “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability; enhances language assistance for individuals with limited English proficiency; and protects individuals with disabilities,” the agency said in a release.
Doctors and health insurers also cannot deny “health care or health coverage based on an individual’s sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping.”
The government was generous enough to provide insurance companies with a handy fact sheet, detailing their duties. One of which involves covering ALL aspects of sex changes– hormone therapy, breast implants, chopping the boys off– the whole shebang. That’s right. Insurance companies are obligated to cover the entire sex change itself, which can cost anywhere from $7,00-$50,000.
Which makes me wonder. If insurance companies are obligated to cover boob implants for men who want to be women, why stop there? What about a woman who wants to be more womanly? Couldn’t one argue that a woman’s self-esteem and mental well-being could be jeopardized by the mental anguish of “looking like a boy” or not being feminine enough? What about her? Couldn’t a case be made there? Why shouldn’t insurance companies be required to cover EVERYONE’S plastic surgery? The fact sheet states that “categorical coverage exclusions or limitations for all health care services related to gender transition are discriminatory.” But what about gender enhancement? Wouldn’t it be discriminatory to deny me– a woman– a boob job for the same reasons? I mean, mental health is mental health, amirite?
Additionally, health care providers “may not deny or limit treatment for any health services that are ordinarily or exclusively available to individuals of one gender based on the fact that a person seeking such services identifies as belonging to another gender.”
The regulation will apply to virtually all hospitals, health care providers, and insurance companies.
“The Section 1557 final rule applies to any health program or activity, any part of which receives funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), such as hospitals that accept Medicare or doctors who receive Medicaid payments; the Health Insurance Marketplaces and issuers that participate in those Marketplaces; and any health program that HHS itself administers,” the agency said.
What does this mean for boring straight people like me? Higher insurance premiums! Assessed risk. You know. Insurance companies have to be prepared in case we suddenly decide that we’re the wrong gender. You know how that goes.
“A central goal of the Affordable Care Act is to help all Americans access quality, affordable health care,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said. “Today’s announcement is a key step toward realizing equity within our health care system and reaffirms this administration’s commitment to giving every American access to the health care they deserve.”
The Obama administration is calling this a win for “civil rights.” Civil rights. Sex reassignment surgery. Potato, Po-tah-to.
But listen, the government wants you to know that they’re not actually FORCING insurance companies to do anything. They’re just telling them that they better, or else.
The agency told the Washington Free Beacon that the rule does not force health insurance companies to cover sex reassignment surgeries, but companies cannot deny treatments related to a gender transition outright.
“The final rule does not require covered entities to cover any particular procedure or treatment for transition-related care, including gender reassignment surgery. However, it does bar a covered entity from categorically excluding from coverage or limiting coverage for all gender transition-related services,” an agency spokesperson said.
Ohhhh. So they can’t make them cover it, but the companies can’t deny doing it. That clears that up.
Big government double talk, anyone?
I don’t even know why any of this is necessary. Especially when you can hop over to various Planned Parenthood locations and get hormone therapy, no questions asked.
h/t Free Beacon