Trans Floridians sue to block Medicaid rule excluding gender-affirming care
Advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block a new Florida rule that bars Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming health care such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery.The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration adopted the rule last month after issuing a report that claimed gender-affirming procedures have the “potential for harmful long term affects.” The rule took effect Aug. 21.
A group of GOP lawmakers in Tennessee sent a letter Wednesday to Vanderbilt University Medical Center calling on the hospital’s Pediatric Transgender Clinic — the only one of its kind in the state — to stop providing gender-affirming surgeries. © Provided by NBC News
In the letter, addressed to the chair of the hospital’s board of directors, state Rep. Jason Zachary and more than 60 of his Republican colleagues say they have been “alarmed by recent reports” that they say describe “surgical mutilations of minor children” at the clinic.
“The Vanderbilt Pediatric Transgender Clinic’s practices qualify as nothing less than abuse,” the letter says.
Vanderbilt's transgender health clinic pauses gender-affirming surgery for minors amidst GOP pressure
Vanderbilt's transgender health clinic pauses gender-affirming surgery for minors amidst GOP pressure Amidst a slew of pressure from the GOP, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's transgender clinic has decided to suspend all gender-affirming surgeries for minors. Dr. C. Wright Pinson, an executive at the Nashville, Tennessee-based health center, sent a letter to Republican lawmakers in the state confirming they would be "pausing" gender-affirming procedures in order to "review recommendations.
It’s the latest in a series of reactions, many of which are explicitly transphobic, to a Twitter thread that went viral last week from right-wing pundit Matt Walsh. In the tweets, Walsh said his “investigation” had uncovered that the hospital “drugs, chemically castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors.” Walsh has a history of anti-LGBTQ activism and hosts a podcast for the far-right blog The Daily Wire.
The day after Walsh published the tweets, Vanderbilt University Medical Center released a statement saying the social media posts and videos misrepresented facts about the care the hospital provides its transgender patients.
The Pediatric Transgender Clinic was opened in 2018 to provide care to transgender individuals, a high-risk population that has been “consistently underserved by the U.S. health system,” the statement says. According to the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, the clinic is the only provider in the state that offers clinical care programs for transgender and gender-expansive children and adolescents.
Five Myths About Puberty Blockers for Trans Kids, Debunked
Are puberty blockers safe? Are hormones blockers reversible? Puberty blockers for trans kids are often misunderstood. This is what you need to know.An onslaught of legislation banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth has pushed puberty blockers into the spotlight. Puberty blockers, also referred to as hormone blockers, are one of the main forms of gender-affirming treatment available to trans kids.
Research shows that gender-affirming surgery can bring numerous benefits to those who receive it. Those benefits include improved mental health and a decline in suicidal thoughts, according to a Harvard study published in the academic journal JAMA Surgery in 2021.
VUMC said it requires parental consent to treat minors for issues related to transgender care and that employees are allowed to decline to participate in care they find “morally objectionable.”
Walsh also criticized the hospital for enlisting “trans activists.” The clinic’s Trans Buddy Program, to which Walsh was referring, provides peer services, particularly for patients who may have been denied medical care in past, to transgender and gender-nonconforming patients in hopes of increasing their access to care. It has received national acclaim, the VUMC statement says.
“We have been and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and in line with professional practice standards and guidance established by medical specialty societies,” the statement continues.
Arkansas Court Case Will Decide Future of Trans Youth Health Care
The fate of necessary health care for transgender teenagers in Arkansas is being decided in a court case starting next week. On Monday, District Court judge James Moody in the Eastern District of Arkansas will begin hearing arguments for the case Brandt et. al. v. Rutledge. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, along with four families with transgender teenagers and two doctors, after Arkansas passed HB 1570. HB 1570 was theOn Monday, District Court judge James Moody in the Eastern District of Arkansas will begin hearing arguments for the case Brandt et. al. v. Rutledge.
The lawmakers’ letter gave the hospital 10 days to respond to their demands, many of which assumed Walsh’s allegations were true, despite the hospital’s responses. The letter concluded by saying that the hospital’s response could determine the actions of the state Legislature, which will reconvene in January.
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New York ranks fifth state with highest cancer rates .
STACKER (WSYR-TV) — New York State ranks fifth for highest cancer rates in all 50 states according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data consists of each state’s incidence rates of cancer from 2019, (Data from 2019 was not available for Nevada.) An estimated 38% of adults […]The data consists of each state’s incidence rates of cancer from 2019, (Data from 2019 was not available for Nevada.