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Medicaid coverage to be denied for transgender treatments

Posted at 11:59 PM, Jun 17, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, FLa. (WTXL) — On Friday, Gov. DeSantis' administration moved ahead with the proposal of not allowing Medicaid for transgender treatments.

The Agency of Health Care Administration (AHCA) , released a proposed rule and set a hearing for July 8 to speak on the issue.

According to the proposal, Medicaid would prevent providing coverage for "procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics" such as sex-reassignment surgeries, puberty blocking medications and hormone "antagonists".

By law, in order for services to be eligible for Medicaid coverage, they must be deemed as medically necessary and the proposal, which was published on Friday in the Florida Administrative Register, established that transgender care does not meet the definition of "medical necessity".

On June 2, AHCA issued a report denying coverage for the treatments, stating they are "not consistent with generally accepted professional medical standards and are experimental and investigational.”

Both national and state LGBTQ advocacy groups have pledged to fight against the proposal, believing it is a push for Republicans to target transgender people.

“This is yet another state agency being used to launch an overt attack on transgender Floridians," stated in a June 2 statement by Jon Harris Maurer, public policy director for the LGBTQ-advocacy group Equality Florida. "The transgender community, like all people, shouldn’t have their access to basic, medically necessary, and often life-saving care stripped away by extremist politicians hoping to stoke right-wing fervor. Florida should put public health over politics.”

Several other organizations vowed to fight against the proposal: the Lambda Legal, the Florida Health Justice Project, the National Health Law Program, and Southern Legal Counsel.

Reportedly, the July 8 hearing is set to be held at a Florida Department of Transportation auditorium in Tallahassee.