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Doctor Andy Chiou debrides a leg wound on patient Larry Kirk in Peoria, Illinois, Nov. 26, 2013. (REUTERS/Jim Young) Doctor Andy Chiou debrides a leg wound on patient Larry Kirk in Peoria, Illinois, Nov. 26, 2013. (REUTERS/Jim Young)  

In race to left, Dem candidates show support for taxpayer-funded sex changes

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

As primary season heats up, Democrats are racing further and further to the left of one another.

Last month, Pennsylvania congressional candidate Kevin Strouse filled out a questionnaire from a local gay advocacy group that asked him whether he supports federal funding of sex change surgeries under Obamacre, Medicare, Medicaid, public employee plans, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and prison health care.

“I support funding for sex reassignment procedures under Medicare, Medicaid and other healthcare plans,” Strouse replied in the questionnaire to the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club.

Likewise, Strouse’s Democratic primary opponent, Shaughnessy Naughton, also expressed support for the government to pay for sex change operations.

“I think that the Affordable Care Act, and all other government-funded health programs should cover sex reassignment surgery and all other medically necessary procedures,” Naughton wrote.

The media in recent years has focused on how competitive Republican primaries have forced candidates to run to the right, causing problems with independent voters in general elections.

But this Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district in suburban Philly is an example of how a Democrat primary also forces candidates to take far-left positions that could prove costly in a general election in a key swing race.

Strouse and Naughton are competing in a May 20 primary to take on Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick – a prime target of national Democrats.

The issue of the government funding sex change surgeries could be problematic in a general election, when the district’s candidates will need to appeal to the socially conservative and moderate Catholic Democrats in Philadelphia’s suburbs.

The issue is wildly contentious: Medicare and Medicaid do not currently cover sex changes, but the Health and Human Services Department last year briefly reexamined its policy. It eventually withdrew the proposal after it received negative publicity in the press.

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