Federal court demands health insurance pay for ALL trans surgeries

By Bob Unruh

(Photo by Ben Warren on Unsplash)

A federal appeals court has gone far beyond the text of federal law in pursuit of the political agenda that demands that health insurance policies cover all transgender treatments, including body mutilations that sometimes are done surgically.

The fact that the ruling from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals went beyond the law was confirmed by Judge Andrew L. Brasher, who dissented from the majority opinion, according to the Washington Stand.

The ruling essentially concluded that the insurance coverage for employees of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office must pay for any treatment demanded by “Anna” Lange, a man who calls himself a woman.

He had sued, claiming discrimination.

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Brasher, however, pointed out the policy does not cover sex change surgeries, but it “doesn’t treat anyone differently based on sex, gender nonconformity, or transgender status.”

In fact, the practice “is consistent with the pattern in the rest of the insurance plan: It covers medically necessary treatments but excludes particularly expensive, top-of-the-line procedures,” the judge said. “Lange argues, and the majority holds, that excluding sex change operations on the face of this policy necessarily means that the county is intentionally discriminating against transgender people because of sex. I disagree. Although the policy does not cover sex change surgeries, it doesn’t treat anyone differently based on sex, gender nonconformity, or transgender status.”

Her cited the Bostock decision from the Supreme Court regarding transgender discrimination.

“Unlike the employees in Bostock who were fired because they identified with a gender different from their natal sex, this health insurance plan does not deny medical coverage to participants ‘simply for being …transgender,'” he said. “The county’s insurance plan covers transgender people and provides treatments for gender dysphoria. Lange’s sex is not relevant to the county’s insurer at all. All that matters is whether Lange is asking the insurer to pay for the constellation of medical procedures known as a ‘sex change.'”

He said that’s consistent with the plan’s “other exclusions for treatments for sexual dysfunction, cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery, and the like. And the exclusion applies equally to sex change reversals. If the plan discriminated against participants because of gender stereotypes, it would cover procedures to align a participant’s physical characteristics with those of his or her natal sex. Instead, the plan refuses to pay for a suite of medical procedures whether the goal is to align with natal sex or differ from natal sex.”

He explained, “The majority opinion says that it doesn’t matter that the insurance plan covers transgender people and gender dysphoria because an employer ‘is not shielded from liability when it engages in discriminatory practices concerning some treatment and not others.’ But the majority is missing the point. The point is that, on the face of the plan, it does not draw a line between procedures transgender people need and procedures that other people need. Instead, the plan draws a line between sex-change operations and other operations.”

The court ruling now demands that “employers must cover gender transition surgeries for their employees in their health insurance plans,” the report said, based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which, a decision Brasher noted, now treats “certain people more favorably than others.”

“Under the majority’s view, an insurance policy can exclude coverage for obesity. It can decline to cover cosmetic procedures to hide scars and repair mastectomies. It can even decline to cover expensive, life-saving cancer treatment. But an employer-provided insurance plan must always cover every treatment for gender dysphoria. There is no basis in the text of Title VII for that result.”

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