Tag Archives: medicare

In Which Una is Exasperated by One of the Most Disgusting Editorials She’s Recently Read


Where do I even begin with an editorial such as this? The majesty of the ignorance, prejudice, and fear was so overwhelming that I was just stunned. After reading the title “Taxpayers to pay for tranny grannies,” I picked my jaw up off the floor and I tried to find who wrote it. But the author refused to give their name, instead hiding behind the editorial banner of The Washington Times and giving it the newspaper’s imprimatur.

There is no way to sugar-coat this editorial – it’s disgusting. It’s like something Rush Limbaugh would write just after having been given a power-wedgie from Laverne Cox. It’s sort of a Twilight Zone editorial, the sort of thing one would expect to be scrawled on the underside of a toilet seat. I’ve seen more intelligent musings written by a highly trained gibbon. Once while at graduate school I saw a drunken frat pledge standing by the fountain at KU, dressed only in his socks and tighty-whities, screaming out an acapella version of “Stand by Your Man” – and that made more sense than this editorial.

From the very first paragraph we read of the “lavender lobby,” and by the 4th sentence we are being deliberately misgendered. It compares getting necessary medical treatment with Botox and a toupee. By the fourth paragraph it makes the “even to prisoners” argument which has been long rejected by the Supreme Court, while trotting out the spectre of Chelsea Manning (and deliberately refuses to use her new, real, legal name). It also makes a factual error, Christine Jorgensen “discarded[sic] his[sic] manhood[sic]” in 1952, not 1951. The following quote should tell you a bit of the tone.

The special treatment only applies to homosexuals — even if they’re criminals. The Pentagon has been discussing transferring custody of Bradley Manning, the convicted leaker of national security secrets, from Fort Leavenworth to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and a civilian prison where he can get government hormone therapy to live the rest of his 35 years or so behind bars as “Chelsea.”

This surgery is not a medically necessary procedure, but an indulgence. The homosexual organizations represent only a tiny percentage of the population, but gays typically have a larger than average disposable income, so they could easily set up a charitable foundation to pay for sex-change operations for those who can’t afford them. However, this would cut into political fundraising. The Center for Responsive Politics counts a dozen prominent homosexual activists who together raised $2.7 million for Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

I can’t even go on. There is a link below; I recommend you don’t bother clicking on it. The Washington Times has now, in my opinion, crossed over the boundary line to be a hate-based media organization when it comes to the subject of my people. Don’t give them one more cent of advertising revenue by clicking on the link below.

EDITORIAL: Taxpayers to pay for tranny grannies – Washington Times.

Yes It’s True – Medicare to Update Healthcare Standards for Transgender Patients. But There Are Some Caveats…

Businesswoman shouting her victory to the worldIs this the biggest news of the last 2 years? It’s certainly up there with the Macy v. Holder decision and the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act. Today will likely be remembered forever as a milestone triumph for transgender persons in the United States.

What happened is this – the US Department of Health and Human Services ruled that Medicare cannot automatically exclude coverage for gender reassignment surgery if it is medically needed. You can read the full decision at this link here.

The scientist in me, however, forces me to strike a cautionary note for those celebrating the news. So please note the following:

  1. It does not mandate that transsexual surgery (as they term it) is covered in all cases. Claimants may still be denied coverage for other reasons that are allowable under the law. What those reasons may be, however, are not known at this time (and indeed, there may be none which apply).
  2. Note that only specific types of transsexual surgery are covered. From the decision: “For the male-to-female, transsexual surgery entails castration, penectomy and vulva-vaginal construction. Surgery for the female-to-male transsexual consists of bilateral mammectomy, hysterectomy and salpingooophorectomy, which may be followed by phalloplasty and the insertion of testicular prostheses.” Note that breast implants are not covered, nor facial feminization surgery, since they are still considered cosmetic surgeries.
  3. It does not necessarily change anything immediately for some Medicare insurers, and may not take effect with some until January 1, 2015.
  4. This ruling does not impact Medicaid, nor Veteran’s health coverages, as those are administered separately.
  5. Note that you may not have a choice in the surgeon to perform your bottom surgery. Medicare may choose to cover only the “lowest cost provider,” and there is also a chance that Medicare’s physician reimbursement levels are low enough that some GRS surgeons may choose not to accept Medicare.
  6. Also note that some surgeons are already booked to capacity right now – for example, I have learned that Dr. Bowers is currently scheduling surgeries for late 2015. Even if the floodgates are opened for surgery, there may be a considerable backlog at surgeon’s offices. This may also lead to a flood of new surgeons who may not have the experience and skills of the current group of established surgeons (but then, everyone has to start somewhere…).
  7. Finally, note that in most cases Medicare will not cover surgery performed outside the US. So if you had your heart set on surgery in Thailand or Quebec, you may still have to pay for most of the expenses out of pocket.

The good news is that while you may believe this only applies to Medicare patients, many private health insurers and their subscriber companies base their coverages on what is or isn’t allowed under Medicare. So it is certain that this will have a “trickle-down” effect starting in 2015, when most policies are renewed.

So let’s celebrate, everyone! We won a major victory!

GLAD / News / Medicare to Update Healthcare Standards for Transgender Patients.

HHS Expected To Lift Blanket Medicare Ban On Sex-Reassignment Surgery Soon

I reported last December that the Department of Health and Human Services was re-evaluating the ban on transgender sexual reassignment surgery (SRS), and the possibility that it could be covered by Medicare.

This update reports the opinion that an end to the ban is going to be announced “soon,” but no timetable has been announced. The ban, which has been in place since 1981, is long overdue to be scrapped. A small number of insurance companies have already seen the light and started making transgender treatment a standard part of their group plans, although individual companies sometimes negotiate the coverage out to reduce their costs. Should Medicare begin to cover SRS, it will be very politically difficult for companies to continue to ban coverage.

HHS Expected To Lift Blanket Medicare Ban On Sex-Reassignment Surgery Soon.

BIG NEWS – HHS to Reevaluate Ban on Gender-Confirming Surgeries

For a very long time, gender-confirming surgery (what us old-timers know as sexual reassignment surgery, or “SRS”) has been banned from Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Most private insurance companies point to the Medicare/Medicaid restrictions for their restrictions, and this is why this is big news.

On December 13, 2013, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced they will review the ban on SRS. And there is some serious hope – under the current Administration, at least – that this review will lead to either a removal of the SRS ban, or else allow SRS under certain circumstances.

If that does come about, private insurers under Obamacare may be implicitly mandated to cover SRS, and it could lead to an explicit mandate before long. The questions and logistics will still need some work, however. Which doctors will accept Medicaid/Medicare, how much will they be reimbursed, will private insurance companies actually follow suit – these and many other questions will soon require answers.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that if this comes to pass, Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act will use this as a public relations level: “ZOMG! Obamacare is paying for people to get their dicks chopped off! Death panels! Deeeeeeeeeeeeeath panels!”

HHS to Reevaluate Ban on Gender-Confirming Surgeries | Advocate.com.