Far-left activists don’t just want Americans to approve of transgender ideology and to call people by preferred pronouns unmoored from biological sex – they also want to force taxpayers to foot the bill for dangerous experimental surgeries that leave people infertile and scarred for life.
On December 23, Illinois joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia to explicitly require Medicaid to pay for transgender surgeries. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the state’s primary Medicaid agency, published new administrative rules mandating the coverage of certain “gender-affirming” services. Illinois formerly excluded “transsexual surgery” from the taxpayer-funded program.
“Health care is a right, not a privilege, and I’m committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) said in a statement in April.
“Expanding Medicaid to cover gender affirming surgeries is cost effective, helps avoid long-term health consequences, and most importantly is the right thing to do. With continued attacks coming from Washington, this administration will always stand with our transgender community and their right to lead safe and healthy lives.”
Almost everything in this statement was dead wrong. Health care should not be considered a “right,” because it involves the hard work of doctors and nurses, who deserved to be compensated for their work. Perhaps most importantly, however, the idea that “gender-affirming” surgeries help “avoid long-term health consquences” is false, as is the idea that covering these surgeries is necessarily “the right thing to do.”
Transgender activists have pushed this narrative based on the idea that the only way to curb the high rate of suicide among people who identify themselves as transgender is to force society to accept transgender identity. Te thinking goes like this: When transgender people have surgery to “affirm” their identity as the opposite sex, they will be less likely to commit suicide. Therefore, transgender surgery is essential to their health, and the government paying for it actually saves money in the long run.
The evidence actually suggests the opposite. While there are few long-term studies on transgender health available, the most thorough follow-up study involving transgender people — extending over 30 years and conducted in Sweden,