Tuesday, February 14, 2006

File this under truth is stranger than fiction

State's taxpayers paid for a sex change:
OLYMPIA -- At a time when lawmakers struggled to find money for health care for the state's most vulnerable people, Washington taxpayers footed the bill for a sex-change operation, penile implants, breast augmentation and ear piercings.

In his most recent review of state Medicaid expenses, Auditor Brian Sonntag found thousands of questionable expenditures in the 2004 fiscal year. One in particular jumped off the page.

Medicaid paid $9,549.92 to surgically transform a woman into a man.

"You pick up the paper or watch the evening news and you see senior citizens who can't get medications of diabetes and things," Sonntag said. "And here you see tax dollars being used for things like this, it makes you ask, 'Why?' "

Previously unreleased details from last year's audit question the necessity of several other procedures the state subsidized.

The documents show the state spent at least $3,500 to insert and repair penile implants, $40,000 on plastic and cosmetic surgery and more than $100,000 on unauthorized breast implants and augmentation.

Two people had their ears pierced at a total cost of $210, according to the report.

Officials at the Department of Social and Health Services have disputed many of the findings in the report but not that any of the procedures were provided and paid for...
Hat Tip: Buckeyepundit


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the city of SF has allowed these expenses in its medical plan for several years.


February 15, 2006 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're apparently ignorant of the fact that research in psychology, psychiatry, neurobiology, and endocrinology confirm that the gender of the mind can be different from the sex of the body.

decades of clinical practice show that it's impossible to change a person's established gender idenity and, for some patients, making the body congruent with the mind is the only solution.

if "sex change operations" were free, would people who had nothing better to do on a saturday afternoon be lining up to get them? you are grossly oversimplifying a very complex issue.

there are well-established medical procedures for working with this population of patients (http://www.hbigda.org/). you are not qualified to diagnose and prescribe medical treatments, and certainly not for people you've never met and conditions you don't understand.

people with gender dysphoria suffer more than you can imagine and, as if that weren't enough, are often victims of hate crimes, violence, and even murder. they're even abused by the police, and refused treatment by emergency medical personnel -- gender-variant people have been left to die while the ambulance crew stood by and watched them bleed.

in the future, if you don't have something kind and sympathetic to say about the suffering of others, keep the diagnoses and prescriptions to yourselves, and just shut up about the whole issue until you've educated yourself.

March 20, 2006 at 11:43 PM  

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