HHS Board Announces Medicare Will Now Cover Gender Reassignment Surgeries

In a groundbreaking decision, a panel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday that it was lifting the ban on Medicare coverage for gender reassignment surgeries, the AP reports:

MallonRuling in favor of a 74-year-old Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency's Departmental Appeals Board ruled that a three-decade-old HHS rule excluding such surgeries from the procedures covered by the national health program for the elderly and disabled was unjustified.

"Sometimes I am asked aren't I too old to have surgery. My answer is how old is too old?" the veteran, Denee Mallon, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in an email interview before the board issued its decision. "When people ask if I am too old, it feels like they are implying that it's a 'waste of money' to operate at my age. But I could have an active life ahead of me for another 20 years. And I want to spend those years in congruence and not distress."

More at the AP

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, reacted to the announcement:

"The dominos of discrimination against transgender people are falling rapidly. Today’s ruling that transgender Medicare patients should have access to the medically necessary care their doctors prescribe, including transition-related surgeries, is a truly historic victory in the long struggle for full and equal access to medically necessary health care for transgender people. We know all too well the financial and social barriers transgender people experience in accessing the care they need, including a majority of transgender people being excluded from fully-inclusive medical coverage because of their gender identity. 

“While this is just the latest and one of the most significant wins we’ve seen out of the Obama administration, we know there is more to come. Having an independent medical review board determine that transgender people deserve access to the medical care their doctor recommends affirms what we already know – that transition-related care bans are designed to discriminate against an already marginalized group of people. We commend the Obama administration for its efforts and look forward to continuing the work of removing transition-related care exclusions from all health policies across the country.”

(image via twitter)

Comments

  1. says

    GOOD. same thing happened in Ontario, as all intelligent minds in the field came to the same conclusion that for a great many tradespeople these surgeries are vital to emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing. DUH.

  2. Tyler says

    Rick, STOP POSTING AS ME!!!! I don’t care if you’re saying the same things I would say. I know you’re just going to use my name to post transphobic comments later on.

  3. will says

    How many times can someone go surgically back and forth between genders? Is it just once? If I go from male to female and then decide to identify as a male again, will this be covered by Medicare?

  4. Benji says

    Gee, it’s amazing how Little Kiwi, Tyler and Derrick From Philly always post on the same stories and share exactly the same view. It’s almost like they are one under-employed, balding, failed actor from Toronto.

  5. Benji says

    Then again, I’m using another random alias right now because I have an utterly unhealthy obsession with Kiwi. I guess if I spent less time thinking about him and more time improving myself I wouldn’t be the insecure sad-sack homosexual coward my father knows me to be. :-(

  6. Sylvia says

    It seems to me that this is stealing resources from elder care. Medicare needs to focus on the critical health care needs of elderly people. The idea that it should be spending limited dollars on butt implants, breast implants and electrolysis for people who already have lived for decades without these procedures, is outrageous.

    I think you are going to see a reaction to this from older folks. But whatever happens, this is a great example of how trans activism is an incredibly selfish affair.

  7. Tyler says

    Sylvia,

    You are dead wrong and your concerns are misplaced.

    Medicare is only available to people over 65. Most transgenders are dead before 50, victims of the pervasive mental and emotional illness that afflicts them. So this ruling is not going to burden Medicare b/c fortunately there are very few transgenders who will live long enough to take advantage of it.

  8. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “Gee, it’s amazing how Little Kiwi, Tyler and Derrick From Philly always post on the same stories and share exactly the same view.”

    Don’t you wish you had some friends?

    And Rick, is your using the posting name “Benji” based Mister Faulkner’s character in “Sound And The Fury”?

    Well, yeah, I guess when you start to preaching about the “culture of effeminacy”–you do come across like Faulkner’s Benji.

  9. Tyler says

    Lol @ Rick for posting Transphobic nonsense under my name as I predicted he would on a different thread today.

    I look forward to the day when Rick is old and frail and nobody will be there to care for him or give a sh!t about his well being. I mean they don’t know but the arthritis that is sure to cripple him in the future hasn’t really kicked in yet.

    And he’ll just have to suffer along while the many Transgender individuals in this nation that will have been born/come into themselves fully continue to gain rights and happiness.

    Poor Rick. I almost feel sorry for his pathetic lifestyle. Almost. I take solace in his loneliness.

  10. Derrrick from Philly says

    @ “Just noticed the pic. I luv my trans sisters, but that is one ugly tranny. I guess they don’t age well.”

    Rick, use your OWN posting name. You’re about as close to TYLER as May Robeson was to Greta Garbo.

  11. Rick says

    Derrick/Kiwi, I’ll have you know that I’m not posting as Tyler. I would never do that. I already have so many other false usernames to choose from. You silly black liberal Trans-loving Marxist queen.

  12. Knock says

    Stop trying to derail the conversation by claiming anyone who disagrees with you is a troll or a sockpuppet or someone else. As tired as you are of Rick, I’m tired of Kiwi and Derrick playing arbiters of opinion.

  13. Tyler says

    Your concern is misplaced, Knock. It’s not an a valid opinion if your point is that Transgender people are ugly, monstrous and violent. It’s not relevant or worthy discourse that we should put up with, tolerate, or even allow. This site is a safe space. Perhaps if Rick and the other trolls didn’t just come here to spew hatred and bigotry we’d call them out less.

    Knock, explain to me why we shouldn’t be calling out these trolls and demanding that something be done about them. Because they’ve slowly poisoned this site for years and the people in charge seem content to let that continue.

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