One of the most astonishing signs of the moral collapse of the West is its embrace of the fantasy that a person can change his or her sex. It is one thing for this delusion to affect children through what is often called “social contagion,” a phenomenon brilliantly described by Abigail Shrier in her book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (Regnery: 2021). But the delusion does not end there. Adults seek to “transition” as well. All this raises the question of who is paying for the hormone treatments or surgical procedures required to make a person “transition”? Well, for an increasing number of people suffering from “gender dysphoria,” the taxpayers are required to pay for gruesome treatments that only enrich doctors and pharmaceutical companies who have lost their way, elevating profits over people.
Military Service Members and Veterans. One of President Biden’s first acts as president, on January 25, 2021, was issuing an Executive Order encouraging transgender persons to serve in the U.S. military by ensuring that taxpayers would pay for “gender reassignment surgery” for active duty military and veterans. A high-ranking former Army officer concluded: “Biden’s order currently reads like anyone in a war zone can suddenly take leave to undergo reassignment surgery.”
Federal Prisoners. Although there appears to be no policy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons ensuring inmates may receive transgender surgery, in April 2023, the first transgender prisoner had such surgery at the order of a federal district judgein the Southern District of Illinois. That surgery was the first, but almost certainly will not be the last, as, according to one estimate: “About 1,200 transgender individuals are estimated to be in the federal prison system, or less than 1% of the overall inmate population of about 159,000.”
Medicare. One does not ordinarily think of senior citizens on Medicare as having “gender dysphoria” and seeking treatment, but the federal government funds “medically necessary” genital reassignment surgery through Medicare.
Medicaid. Some states attempted to fight back to end use of Medicaid funds for gender reassignment surgery, provoking Biden’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Kristen Clarke, to send a letter to the attorneys general of the 50 states, threatening that states would be in violation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law if they refused to fund such surgery. The letter threatened consequences if a state tries to “criminalize or even restrict a type of medical care predominantly sought by transgender persons….”
Federal Employees. The federal government has ensured that health plans available to federal employees provide coverage for transgender surgery. A fact sheet issued by the Office of Personnel Management states that all Federal Employee Health Benefits plans must offer “access to medications and provide coverage of medically necessary hormonal therapies for gender transition care.” Although surgery is not expressly mentioned, the general requirement to provide care for trans-people would seem to require its coverage.
With the federal government’s vast funding of anything healthcare related, there is no doubt other programs exist that we have not yet identified, but there is no question that the Biden Administration is committed to maximizing hormonal and surgical care to trans-persons. Fortunately, there has been some pushback at both state and federal levels.
A few states have begun to resist such surgery. In April, 2021, Arkansas became the first state to ban the practice of permitting transgender genital mutilation, although the legislature had to override the veto of Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, now a candidate for the Republican nomination for President, to do so. On October 4, 2022, Oklahoma also decided to withhold funding from state hospitals that perform the practice on children. Other states have been developing other ways to protect their citizens.
At the federal level, in the last (117th) Congress, two bills were introduced. Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced the “End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act of 2021.” Predictably, the bill was buried in the Finance Committee by Democrats in control of the Senate. In August 2022, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) got no further when she introduced the “Protect Children’s Innocence Act” in the House to ban the practice on minors, and prohibit federal funding for it in all cases. Greene reintroduced her bill in the current (118th) Congress on March 7, 2023, as H.R. 1399and that bill has been referred to four separate House committees for consideration.
But for the current mania over transgenderism, such a ban on taxpayer funded transgender surgery would not seem all that radical.
In 1996, Congress realized that female genital mutilation, a common practice in some Muslim nations, was becoming an exploding problem in the United States, banning it for minor girls. That law was struck down by a federal judge in Michigan in 2018. Congress responded by criminalizing the procedure in 2021, with a bill signed by President Trump. Representative Scott Perry (R-PA), explained the bill, “We must be abundantly clear that this cultural practice has no medical benefit and won’t be tolerated in the United States of America.” Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, stated, “This bill will help protect girls from this awful, and often overlooked, form of sexual assault.” Designated as HR 6100, the “Stop FGM Act of 2020,” found that “[f]emale genital mutilation is a heinous practice that often inflicts excruciating pain on its victims and causes them to suffer grave physical and psychological harm.” Codified as 18 U.S.C. § 116, the law provides for a 10-year prison sentence for attempting or conspiring to commit female genital mutilation.
Congress got it right in 2020, finding that genital mutilation caused its victims “grave physical and psychological harm.” Similarly, it is inexcusable for the federal government to compel taxpayers to pay for destructive transgender surgery for adults or children. House Republicans can and should act as quickly as possible to stop any and all funding for such perverse medical and surgical treatments.
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