The Medicalization of Gender, Part 97

11 Dec

Study: Paying for Transgender Health Care Cost-Effective

“A new analysis led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that while most U.S. health insurance plans deny benefits to transgender men and women for medical care necessary to transition to the opposite sex, paying for sex reassignment surgery and hormones is actually cost-effective.

The researchers, reporting online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, say that the cost of surgery and hormones is not significantly higher than the cost of treatment for depression, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, all of which are highly prevalent in those who are transgender but are not in a position to medically transition to the opposite sex. In 2014, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services began paying for sex reassignment surgery and other transitional care, after a 33-year-ban on covering those costs was lifted.

“Providing health care benefits to transgender people makes economic sense,” says study leader William V. Padula, PhD, MS, MSc, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School. “Many insurance companies have said that it’s not worth it to pay for these services for transgender people. Our study shows they don’t have an economic leg to stand on when they decide to deny coverage. This is a small population of people and we can do them a great service without a huge financial impact on society.”

This article does not present any details of the research, which makes it difficult to critique it. However, the fact remains that using only an economic analysis, they are promoting invasive and permanently damaging procedures known to have serious complications and toxic side effects, in order to treat a condition with no proven biological markers, a condition that is purely psychological and has strong correlations with socially codified gender scripting of behaviors and preferences. Previous research has indicated that these procedures do not reliably treat the psychological distress of these patients. I call that creepy.

“Most U.S. health insurance policies still contain transgender exclusions, even though treatment of gender identity disorder is neither cosmetic nor experimental,” he says.”

Now that’s just plain dishonest. Genital surgery is without question cosmetic surgery, these procedures do not recreate functioning genitalia of the opposite sex, and treatments for medical transitioning involve administration of hormones of demonstrated toxicity, not to mention untested puberty blockers used on children who are often groomed by adults into believing themselves transgender. How is this not experimental?

Johns Hopkins should be ashamed of themselves for publishing such claptrap.

http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2015/study-paying-for-transgender-health-care-cost-effective.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/opinion/no-reason-to-exclude-transgender-medical-care.html?_r=0

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