HHS Pulls Double-Switch on Transgender Surgery
The Obama administration pulled a fast double-switch on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website on Friday; in the morning the website asked for readers to respond to a proposal that would cover sex-change operations covered by Medicare and Medicaid, but by the evening, after the news had gotten out of the website’s request, the post was deleted from the website and a spokesman for HHS said the proposal had been withdrawn.
The ostensible reason for the withdrawal, according to HHS, was worded thus:
An administrative challenge to our 1981 Medicare national coverage determination concerning sex reassignment surgery was just filed. This administrative challenge is being considered and working its way through the proper administrative channels. In light of the challenge, we are no longer re-opening the national coverage determination for reconsideration.
Of course, that’s the official explanation. It might also be a reasonable assumption that taxpayers would be irritated about paying for such operations when they had just found out in a study released this week this week that Obamacare will increase the claims costs that insurance companies will pay in the individual market, thus most likely raising the premiums taxpayers will have to pay. Additionally, another report revealed that ObamaCare would increase job losses.
The back-and-forth move was made during Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness Week. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had said ObamaCare would help Americans seeking the surgery and that Barack Obama had spoken to her after ObamaCare was passed to “identify steps” HHS could make to improve the health and well being of those seeking the surgery.