San Francisco to Offer Free “Sex Reassignment” Surgeries to Its Uninsured

By:  Dave Bohon
11/12/2012
       
San Francisco to Offer Free “Sex Reassignment” Surgeries to Its Uninsured

The city of San Francisco has announced that it plans to cover the cost of sex-change procedures for uninsured “transgender” residents, making it the first community in the United States to offer such a service. The Associated Press reported that the city's Health Commission voted November 6 “to create a comprehensive program for treating transgender people experiencing mental distress because of the mismatch between their bodies and their gender identities.”

The city of San Francisco has announced that it plans to cover the cost of sex-change procedures for uninsured “transgender” residents, making it the first community in the United States to offer such a service. The Associated Press reported that the city's Health Commission voted November 6 “to create a comprehensive program for treating transgender people experiencing mental distress because of the mismatch between their bodies and their gender identities.” San Francisco already offers free hormone therapy, counseling, and other health services to individuals desiring a “sex reassignment” procedure, but up until now had not offered sex-change surgery under its universal health plan.

The plan to cover the surgery came about at the request of “transgender advocates,” who want mastectomies, genital reconstruction, and other procedures associated with sex “reassignment” covered under San Francisco's five-year-old universal health care plan. The Health Commission bowed to pressure from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center to drop sex-change surgery from the list of procedures excluded from the city's health plan.

“All Americans, in consultation with their doctors, should be able to receive the medical care they need to live healthy lives,” said Kristina Wertz, program director of the Transgender Law Center. “That’s why we applaud San Francisco’s decision to allow transgender people the ability to receive the medical care they need to be healthy.”

But Thomas Moyer, a San Francisco resident and author of A Conservative Survival Guide to San Francisco, pointed out the obvious impact the plan will have on the community. “Taxpayers cannot afford this,” he told reporters, “as there are unintended costs and unintended consequences unrelated to the actual surgery, such as their longer-term hormone treatment, psychology needs, and other longer-term health issues.”

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Photo of Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline

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