(LifeSiteNews) — The Biden administration’s director of Health and Human Services (HHS) has threatened to pull Medicare and Medicaid funding from providers who refuse to offer “transgender” mutilating surgeries and cross-sex hormones.
“We have issued guidelines that say that a provider who receives Medicare funding, Medicaid funding must be prepared to offer gender-affirming care,” said Xavier Becerra during the tenth annual Aspen Ideas: Health event, held by the Aspen Institute in late June.
“Where we have laws that require you to fulfill your obligations if you want that Medicaid dollar to come to your state, we’re gonna make sure you check the box,” Becerra continued.
While Becerra admitted that the HHS is forced to “work under” circuit court decisions ruling that health care providers are not obliged to cover so-called “gender-affirming” interventions, he added, “We’re not going to stop everywhere we have the opportunity at the federal level.”
On October 1, 2022, the District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a judgment holding that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance defining “sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination” in the workplace is unlawful.
The HHS noted on March 2, 2022, that it “is evaluating its next steps in light of that judgment but is complying with it.”
In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would cover genital-mutilating surgeries deemed “medically necessary” by local Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) on a case-by-case basis.
“Since gender affirmation surgery and most related services are considered medically necessary for individuals who wish to physically transition, Medicare will cover most of the services related to gender affirmation,” Healthline explains.
Almost a dozen states have since banned Medicaid coverage for “transgender” drugs and surgeries. However, their resistance is at risk of being undermined by the courts following legal challenges.
For example, on June 21, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle struck down Florida’s Medicaid policy that prohibited Medicaid funds from being used to cover mutilating surgeries and cross-sex hormones.
The ruling was the culmination of the lawsuit Dekker v. Marstiller, which contended that Florida’s ban violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, a provision in Obamacare that prohibits federally funded programs to discriminate on the basis of sex, and provisions of the Medicaid Act.
According to a June 2022 report by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), the suit defendant, “the available evidence demonstrates that [‘transgender’ treatments] cause irreversible physical changes and side effects that can affect long-term health,” referring to the likelihood of infertility or sterility as a result of cross-sex hormones and “sex reassignment” surgeries. The agency introduced the ban on Medicare-funded “trans” interventions in August.
Data from before the August ban shows a drastic increase in the use of hormone drugs and puberty blockers. According to the data, released in August, Florida saw a 63 percent increase in treatment for gender dysphoria, a 270 percent increase in the use of puberty blockers, a 166 percent increase in children receiving testosterone, and a 110 percent increase in children receiving estrogen.