A federal judge has nullified Florida laws that previously prevented public healthcare programs from funding transgender hormone therapy and puberty-blocking medications.
Do you acknowledge that there are people who actually identify as genders other than their natal sex, or do you deny this reality? Dog whistles shouldn’t be accepted, the author wrote.
When Florida’s ban came into force in August 2022, it only applied to patients whose health insurance came from Medicaid. This program, which is jointly funded by the state and the federal government, offers assistance to low-income individuals, numerous children, and individuals with disabilities.
When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ office instructed the state’s healthcare agency to conduct an analysis on Medicaid patients who received care related to their transition, the ban started to take shape. According to Lambda Legal, one of the firms that represented transgender plaintiffs in the case, there are about 12,000 transgender patients enrolled in Florida’s transgender health care program.
Puberty inhibitors, cross-sex hormones, and surgery are among the “gender-affirming healthcare” services offered by the medical community. Despite the fact that numerous medical organizations have deemed these services to be medically necessary, Florida’s healthcare agency determined they were “experimental” and prevented Medicaid from paying for them.
In response, two adults and two children under the age of 13 filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida on behalf of healthcare and LGBTQ+ rights organizations and four patients from the state. Patients had to find other means of funding their own medical care without Medicaid coverage.
The GOP-majority Florida legislature sent DeSantis a bill that adopted the regulations while the case was still in court, and he signed it into law. In the course of the order on Wednesday, Hinkle invalidated the law.
Given that Florida’s Medicaid program has long “paid for medically necessary treatments for gender dysphoria,” Hinkle claimed in his 54-page opinion that health officials implemented the ban “for political reasons.”
Some people, he wrote, “believe that transgender people have inappropriately chosen a contrary gender identity, male or female, just as one might choose whether to read Shakespeare or Grisham, and that cisgender people properly adhere to their natal sex.” Many people who hold this viewpoint tend to be against anything transgender and thus oppose medical care that acknowledges a person’s transgender identity.
The Florida law that sought to prohibit transgender minors from receiving cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers was partially overturned earlier this month by Hinkle, a judge who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.
He wrote in the same manner as his earlier opinion, “The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset.” Gender identity exists. The evidence is in the record.
According to Hinkle, the state failed to demonstrate that people receive healthcare related to transitions without first receiving therapy and being assessed by numerous medical professionals. Even if that were the case, he argued, better regulations rather than a complete ban should be the answer.
DeSantis has made anti-trans legislation a key component of his platform in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
He characterized affirming the identities of transgender people as “unmoored from truth” during a book tour stop in Charleston, South Carolina, in April. He also dismissed medical organizations that support transition-related healthcare as “ideological” and referred to those who support transgender care as “rogue elements of the medical establishment.”
This year, he signed several bills into law in Florida that have a significant negative impact on the lives of transgender people there. One of these bills makes it illegal for people to use the restroom in a public building that doesn’t correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Counsel and Health Care Strategist at Lambda Legal, said in a statement on Wednesday, “It is unfortunate that Florida politicians like Ron DeSantis have sought to attack the most vulnerable in order to score political points.”
Gonzalez-Pagan continued, “Today’s decision, however, makes it clear that discrimination is wrong and acknowledges that everyone in Florida, including transgender people, deserves equal access to research-based, life-saving medical care.
FL Prohibitions on Transgender Healthcare Funding Struck Down by Federal Judge |
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