HHS putting policy ahead of sound medicine

HHS putting policy ahead of sound medicine

HHS putting policy ahead of sound medicine

An author explains why her ethics organization opposes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' proposed rule that would mandate health insurers cover a wide array of so-called transgender procedures and treatments.

The list ranges from puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for the young and old, as well as genital and non-genital surgical procedures, including hysterectomies, penectomies, mastectomies, and cosmetic surgeries like cheek, chin, and neck reconstruction.

Morrison, Rachel (EPPC) Morrison

"The EPPC submitted a comment opposing the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity into the non-discrimination requirements for insurance," says Rachel Morrison, fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center's HHS Accountability Project. "We helped coordinate a coalition of numerous other groups to oppose this proposal as well, as we don't think it's a good idea."

For starters, EPPC does not think it is supported by law.

"We don't think that it supports the long-standing scientific understanding of the human person," adds Morrison. "It is an attempt to evade court injunctions for other regulations that have tried to require coverage for these types of procedures."

She says it also promotes harms to patients, especially minors who will go through with these procedures and have "long-term irreversible consequences from surgeries or from sterilization from going on the hormones."

"Religious freedom organizations would likely be presented with plans that cover these procedures, regardless of their religious beliefs opposing these treatments for minors," Morrison notes. "Employees would be offered plans that cover these services, and it would be difficult for them not to have to pay for these different treatments in their own insurance plans. And basically, at the end of the day, it places ideology ahead of sound medicine."

Family Policy Alliance is also opposed to the proposal. It points out that the first duty of medicine is to do no harm, but the Biden administration is attempting to force through a policy of "must do harm."

"One thing  is crystal clear: Anyone who believes they must alter their body—often irreparably—in order to be comfortable is an individual who is deeply hurting and in need of help, not harm," the Alliance states. "The Department must immediately reverse course, rescind this rule, and do no harm – especially for the sake of our nation's youth, who are often the victims of this radical agenda."