Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has ordered the state’s Medicaid program to begin covering the costs of sex reassignment surgeries for transgender people.
“Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and I’m committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right,” said Pritzker. “Expanding Medicaid to cover gender affirming surgeries is cost effective, helps avoid long term health consequences, and most importantly is the right thing to do. With continued attacks coming from Washington, this administration will always stand with our transgender community and their right to lead safe and healthy lives.”
It’s difficult to fit so many falsehoods and fallacies in such a short paragraph, but Pritzker does it.
First of all, healthcare is not a right. Saying you have a right to something that requires others’ labor and wealth is like saying you have a right to own slaves and steal from people. It’s illogical and dangerous. But Pritzker doesn’t stop there, he throws in a virtue signal about the LGBTQ community for good measure. If healthcare was a right, it would certainly be universal, but adding the bit about the LGBTQ community makes the so-called right un-universal since it would only apply to certain people. True natural rights are universal, unalienable, and concurrent. Healthcare as a right violates all of these.
Next, Pritzker surreptitiously lumps “gender affirming surgeries” in with healthcare. Gender dysphoria is a psychological disorder and enabling a psychological disorder does not promote health. There’s a psychological condition called body integrity identity disorder in which the patient feels like one of his limbs isn’t really his and he has a strong urge to amputate the limb. If someone suffered from this disorder, would it be healthcare to say, “You’re right, that limb isn’t yours” and facilitate the amputation? Of course not–that would be health destruction, not care.
In addition, gender reassignment surgery also doesn’t benefit the patient. As reported in the Guardian of “more than 100 follow-up studies of post-operative transsexuals”:
[The Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility], which conducts reviews of health care treatments for the [National Health Service], concludes that none of the studies provides conclusive evidence that gender reassignment is beneficial for patients. It found that most research was poorly designed, which skewed the results in favor of physically changing sex. There was no evaluation of whether other treatments, such as long-term counseling, might help transsexuals, or whether their gender confusion might lessen over time.
Even in the extremely affirming country of Sweden, rates of suicide are nearly twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery:
The study identified increased mortality and psychiatric hospitalization compared to the matched controls. The mortality was primarily due to completed suicides (19.1-fold greater than in control Swedes), but death due to neoplasm and cardiovascular disease was increased 2 to 2.5 times as well. We note, mortality from this patient population did not become apparent until after 10 years. The risk for psychiatric hospitalization was 2.8 times greater than in controls even after adjustment for prior psychiatric disease (18 percent). The risk for attempted suicide was greater in male-to-female patients regardless of the gender of the control. Further, we cannot exclude therapeutic interventions as a cause of the observed excess morbidity and mortality. The study, however, was not constructed to assess the impact of gender reassignment surgery per se.
Gender reassignment surgery is medical malpractice. This effort by Pritzker may be a great way to win virtue points among liberal constituents, but it is bad science, bad healthcare, and bad law. It is everything wrong with an overreaching government and the latest disaster from a state healthcare system on the verge of collapse.