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Transgender people receiving Medicare may no longer be automatically denied coverage for sex reassignment surgeries, a U.S. Department of Health and Services review board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures as a medically necessary and effective treatment for individuals who do not identify with their biological sex.
Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency's Departmental Appeals Board ruled that a three-decade-old HHS rule excluding such surgeries from the procedures covered by the national health program for the elderly and disabled was unjustified.
"Sometimes I am asked aren't I too old to have surgery. My answer is how old is too old?" the veteran, Denee Mallon, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in an email interview before the board issued its decision. "When people ask if I am too old, it feels like they are implying that it's a `waste of money' to operate at my age. But I could have an active life ahead of me for another 20 years. And I want to spend those years in congruence and not distress
originally posted by: Thisbseth
a reply to: Destinyone
Is it millions of dollars for just one person? or all of them?
Apart from the surgery itself, changing gender identity requires unique social, legal, and hormonal involvement. The entire process is often referred to as "sexual transitioning," as it truly does require a transition over time. Social reassignment, which is often highly recommended before the individual commits to SRS, entails living and working for perhaps two years as if the individual were already a member of the opposite sex. This often gives some indication of the possible success-emotionally and psychologically-of SRS.
Hormonal reassignment usually takes place before SRS is decided upon. For male-to-female transsexuals, estrogen therapy helps suppress the physical male characteristics and encourages physical female characteristics. Electrolysis of facial and bodily hair is still necessary, however, as estrogen does not halt hair growth. While treatment of female-to-male transsexuals with androgensdoes lower the pitch in voice, estrogen does not raise the voice pitch in the male-to-female transsexual. In order to ensure the SRS candidate is fully aware that some irreversible changes will occur even with hormone therapy alone, and that often difficult psychological changes will be experienced, initiation of psychological counseling is highly recommended beginning six months prior to the initiation of hormone therapy and continuing through the entire SRS process.
originally posted by: Destinyone
I'm totally against the tax payers paying for this type of medical treatment.
... like artificial limbs that actually fit correctly for our service members who need them.