New York Mayor Proposes 'Taxpayer-Funded' Gender Reassignment Surgery
Bill de Blasio says he'd support Medicare for all if it covered gender reassignment
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said a government-run health care system would have his support if it offered gender reassignment surgeries.
Speaking at the New York City Pride parade, de Blasio told reporters he would support Medicare for all if it covered gender reassignment.
“Absolutely. We have to respect everyone’s medical needs,” de Blasio said.
“If someone needs surgery to be full and to live their life fully — the idea is a health care system that actually serves everyone to the fullest, not a health care system that rations and causes people to struggle to get just a little health care,” he added.
But no other Democratic candidates have voiced support for gender reassignment surgery in their health care plans.
The Medicare for All bill was introduced by Bernie Sanders in the Senate in 2017.
Sanders has not explained how is the government-operated health system will handle gender reassignment surgeries.
Medicare for All would abolish private insurance and make health care an federal government operated single-payer system.
But de Blasio’s proposal would mean taxpayers would foot the bill to treat gender reassignment surgery as a medical need, rather than an elective surgery.
The Democratic presidential candidates have made Transgender issues a focal point of their campaigns.
The former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro said at Wednesday’s Democratic debate that abortions for transgender females would be covered under his proposed health care plan.
“I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom; I believe in reproductive justice. What that means is just because a woman or, let’s also not forget, someone in the trans community — a trans female — is poor does not mean they should not have the ability to exercise that right to choose,” said Castro.
In March, The Supreme Court in Iowa ruled that American taxpayers must cover the costs for transgender patients to have gender reassignment surgery.
On Friday, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling that the state cannot deny two transgender women taxpayer-funded Medicaid coverage for their sex change surgeries.
Medicaid in the United States is a federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources and is usually reserved for elderly citizens, low-income families, and people with specific disabilities who desperately need healthcare but are unable to pay for it.