By Tony Perkins
Living in New York can turn you into a different person — literally. Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Empire State will be the ninth state to order insurance companies to cover sex change surgeries. In an announcement this week, Cuomo insists that “respecting the rights and dignity of all New Yorkers is paramount. By taking this action, we are ensuring that principle rightfully extends to transgender people across our state.”
Ironically, the governor could only make the change by labeling gender confusion a mental illness — a suggestion the Left vehemently denies. “In a letter sent this week to insurers, the state Department of Financial Services said they ‘may not deny medically necessary treatment otherwise covered by a health insurance policy solely on the basis that the treatment is for gender dysphoria.’”
Although each case is different, the price tag of this kind of surgery is estimated at anywhere from $58,000 to $70,000 — a steep price for any insurer to pay. “The concern we have is that by putting a spotlight on sex changes we’re setting a precedent,” said a representative for the state’s Health Plan Association. Like most companies, they’re upset about not being briefed or consulted by the Governor’s office before the new rules were announced. It could be a “slippery slope for other treatments and services people argue are mental health-related,” she went on.
For the transgender movement, it’s been a stunning turnaround these past few years, as more politicians turn themselves inside out to change bathroom rules, military policy, sports eligibility, and school curriculum to normalize this wave of gender anarchy.
Believe it or not, U.S. taxpayers are already bearing the brunt of this extremism through Medicare, which changed its rules this past June to recognize the surgery as a “medically necessary” and “effective” treatment for people who can’t come to grips with their own biological gender. Despite the sky-high costs and an even higher controversy quotient, the Obama administration believes it’s the taxpayers’ responsibility to cover an elective body enhancement that may only elevate the mental and physical risks for people suffering from gender confusion. If leaders truly care about helping these suffering people, it should consider making counseling more accessible — and work to free Americans, not further enslave them, from this destructive lifestyle.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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