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Should healthcare companies be forced by govt. to provide transition-related care for transgenders?


(NaturalNews) The logic behind what actually constitutes a human right has become increasingly blurred, particularly in the wake of the Obama administration's sweeping directive to force all U.S. school districts to comply with what the Feds deem "transgender bathroom rights."

As a result, restrooms across the nation, both on public and private property, have become gender neutral. It is my belief that those suffering the most in all of this are women, as they have been stripped of their right to private (and clean) restrooms, in order to accommodate a select few.

But the freedom to use the restroom of their choice wasn't enough. Now, transgenders are demanding that health insurance companies fund transition-related care, including penis transplants, breast implants and hormone treatments.

Joe Robinson of Chandler, Arizona, is suing his health insurance company for "discrimination," after it refused to provide employee coverage for transition-related care, according to The Arizona Republic. Robinson, an operating-room nurse at Chandler Regional Medical Center, was born female, but is currently transitioning into a man.

Health Dignity slammed with lawsuit after refusing to cover penis implant surgery

In federal court filings, Robinson and the American Civil Liberties Union argued that Dignity Health has an insurance policy that discriminates based on sex, because it denied the plaintiff treatment for gender-dysphoria, instead labeling his condition a "personality disorder."

As a result, Robinson paid "thousands of dollars" out of his own pocket for gender-dysphoria healthcare, including $7,450 for a double mastectomy. In addition to breast removal surgery, the plaintiff requested that his provider also pay for phalloplasty, or penis implant surgery.

Robinson's request was denied. He did not move forward with the surgery because he couldn't afford the cost.

"I was shocked when Dignity, which is supposed to be in the business of healing and holds itself out to the public as a bastion of 'human kindness,' told me they would not authorize insurance coverage for my doctor-prescribed treatment," said Robinson.

"All I want is the same health benefits other, non-transgender Dignity employees receive, which is coverage for medically necessary treatments."

However, Robinson isn't asking for the "same health benefits" as non-transgenders, but rather preferential treatment. Health insurance companies do not cover cosmetic procedures, unless deemed medically necessary.

ACLU backs transgender healthcare coverage

For example, healthcare providers do not pay for breast implants, Botox or nose jobs – and for good reason, as they are cosmetic and considered luxury procedures.

The ACLU disagrees, however, insisting that transition-related care is deemed necessary for individuals with gender-dysphoria, and should be covered under the Affordable Care Act.

"Every major medical association has affirmed that transition-related health care for transgender people is medically necessary," said Josh Block, one of three ACLU attorneys assigned to the case.

Robinson's suit is unprecedented because it's "the first of its kind since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued proposed regulations for health-care coverage of transgender employees in late May," which state that excluding gender-dysphoria treatment is not "based on science at all," and shouldn't be allowed.

Dignity Health has acknowledged that it's aware of the complaint and is currently investigating the case.

When Robinson first filed a complaint against his provider through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in late 2015, the insurer responded: "Health benefits under the Dignity plan are not provided for any personality disorders, including sexual/gender identity disorders and behavior and impulse control disorders."

No evidence of discrimination

Robinson then brought the complaint to Dignity Health's Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Dean, who ruled in November that there was zero evidence of discrimination.

"With specific intent, we deliberated whether our existing policies were discriminatory and inconsistent with our organization values as you stated in your letter. We found no evidence of discriminatory practice in the employee benefit plan documents, internal practice or the administration of the plan," said Dean.

Robinson's lawsuit asks to be reimbursed for the out-of-pocket expenses he paid for transgender-related care including the double mastectomy, as well as legal fees.

The outcome of this case is expected to be monumental, as it will likely lay the groundwork for transgender-related health coverage. Health insurance companies say that they're already burdened with unforeseen costs under the Affordable Care Act, resulting in upwards of 60 percent premium hikes for policy holders.

Female-to-male sexual reassignment surgery, including mastectomy, aureola reduction and genital surgery, costs between $12,000 and $25,000.






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