Idaho Bans Medicaid For Transgender Procedures

April 1, 2024 in News by RBN Staff

source:  zerohedge

MONDAY, APR 01, 2024 – 04:40 PM

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Idaho Governor Brad Little signed a bill Wednesday that prevents individuals enrolled in the state Medicaid program from being covered for transgender-related treatments.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little speaks at the White House in Washington on July 16, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

House Bill 668 prohibits Idaho’s Medicaid program from reimbursing or offering coverage for gender transition procedures, applicable to both minors and adults. Such procedures include both surgical and medical interventions. The prohibition applies to other public funds as well. The bill was passed with 58–11 votes in the House of Representatives and the Senate by 26–8. On March 27, Mr. Little signed the bill into law, which will come into effect on July 1.

The bill is applicable to gender transition procedures used for altering an individual’s appearance in order to affirm the perception of their sex, which is “inconsistent with the individual’s biological sex.”

Medicare and public health funds can be used for gender transition under three conditions—(a) where such procedures are “necessary to the health of the person,” (b) when the purpose is to treat any infection, injury, disease, or disorder caused or worsened due to previous gender transition procedures, (c) if the procedure is performed on a person born with a “medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development.”

During a debate on the Senate floor, state Sen. Ben Toews told lawmakers the bill will ensure that taxpayer dollars “are not used to pay for medically harmful treatments,” Idaho Capital Sun reported.

“Responding to the brokenness of the world requires humility, compassion, and wisdom. We don’t have enough of these things by ourselves. And it is only by the power of our Creator, that healing is truly enabled. The answer to our affliction will not be contrived because wholeness is given, not manufactured.”

State Sen. Melissa Wintrow accused House Bill 668 of being discriminatory, insisting that it is part of a series of bills “that clearly violates the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause.”

The bill prohibits any state property, facility, or building from being used to offer the banned gender transition procedures. Physicians and other health care professionals employed by state, county, or local governments are also not allowed to offer such procedures to individuals.

Any intentional violation of the provisions of this chapter by a public officer or public employee shall be considered a misuse of public moneys,” the bill states, warning that such people will be punished.

Protecting Minors

In addition to House Bill 668, Mr. Little has approved other measures to protect minors from gender transition procedures. In April last year, he signed House Bill 71 which states that any individual who knowingly provides such procedures to minors will be considered guilty of a felony.

“In signing this bill, I recognize our society plays a role in protecting minors from surgeries or treatments that can irreversibly damage their healthy bodies,” Mr. Little said at the time.

“However, as policymakers, we should take great caution whenever we consider allowing the government to interfere with loving parents and their decisions about what is best for their children.”

The law was supposed to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. However, a federal judge temporarily blocked the law in December. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit later affirmed the decision.

In February, Idaho asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow it to enforce the state ban. In its application, Idaho stated that rulings of the district and 9th Circuit courts “violate controlling precedent on the limits of equitable remedies. That violation matters because it harms non-parties, leaving vulnerable children subject to procedures that even [the] Plaintiffs’ experts agree are inappropriate for some of them.”

Every day Idaho’s law remains enjoined, exposes vulnerable children to risky and dangerous medical procedures and infringes Idaho’s sovereign power to enforce its democratically enacted law,” it stated.

In a statement to The Epoch Times, Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador said that children suffering from gender dysphoria “deserve love, support, and medical care rooted in biological reality. Denying the basic truth that boys and girls are biologically different hurts our kid[s].”

On March 21, Mr. Little signed Senate Bill 1329 which recognizes that parents have a “fundamental right and duty” regarding the health care decisions of their minor children. Unless “otherwise provided by court order,” people are banned from offering or soliciting health care services to kids without obtaining the consent of their parents.

The law protects the parental right to access the health records of their minor children. Health care providers and government entities are prohibited from denying such records to parents when they make a request.

Alliance Defending Freedom praised the bill, with the group’s senior counsel Matt Sharp pointing out that there have been “instances nationwide of government officials actively seeking to replace parents as the ultimate determiners of what’s best for children.”

“We commend Idaho for safeguarding the vital role of parents to guide the medical care of their children … Now and always, a loving parent will always be the best advocate to ensure their child gets the care needed.”