Florida Medicaid’s Exclusion of Transgenderism Challenged by Lawsuit

On Wednesday, a federal lawsuit was filed against the state of Florida over a recently-enacted policy that orders the state’s Medicaid program to prohibit the funding of gender-altering procedures.

According to NPR, the suit was filed in the Northern District of Florida by a coalition of far-left groups allegedly representing four Florida Medicaid recipients, who claim to be either “transgender” or to be the parents of “transgender” children.

“This exclusion is discrimination, plain and simple,” said Carl Charles, a spokesman for Lambda Legal, a far-left organization that is leading the lawsuit, and has filed similar lawsuits around the country. “Transgender Medicaid beneficiaries deserve health care coverage free from discrimination, just like any other Medicaid beneficiary in Florida.”

One of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs is a 20-year-old women who believes she is a man, named Brit Rothstein. Rothstein had attempted to seek chest surgery for the removal of her own breasts, and although she had been authorized for the procedure on August 11th, Florida’s Medicaid program canceled the surgery the following day.

Another plaintiff is a woman named Jade Ladue, who, along with her husband, claims that her 7-year-old son came out as transgender at the age of 7. The parents subsequently sought puberty-blockers, which have to be injected into the child via monthly shots that could cost at least $1,000 per month; although the steep costs were originally going to be covered by the state’s Medicaid program, their procedure was also canceled by the new rules.

“For our family, it would be super stressful,” Ladue complained. “Potentially, if it’s something we couldn’t afford, we’d have to look to possibly moving out of state.”

In June, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees the state’s Medicaid program, issued a report revealing that many such procedures, surgeries, and other treatments for so-called “transgenderism” – which is really called gender dysphoria, and is widely considered a mental illness – are “experimental and investigational,” and could cause unforeseen harm. Any studies claiming that such procedures are safe and healthy, the agency declared, are “very low quality and rely on unreliable methods.”

In August, the agency formally rolled out its ban on health care providers requesting that any such transgender procedures be covered by Medicaid. The rule has been praised and celebrated as a move towards protecting children from physical and psychological abuse, as well as potentially lifelong harm caused by these treatments.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.