The state of Florida will no longer cover “gender-affirming” care under Medicaid, the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) ruled Thursday.
Doctors will no longer be able to bill the state’s Medicaid program for procedures and drugs including sex changes, puberty blockers and hormone therapies beginning Aug. 21. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken an increasingly hostile stance toward these treatments for people suffering from gender dysphoria, particularly children, according to Politico.
Throughout this process @AHCA_FL has remained committed to following the evidence in the treatment of gender dysphoria, rather than the eminence of a medical society or association. Our focus will always be on paving the way for a healthier Florida https://t.co/sCxxvxilhA
— Brock Juarez (@Juarez_Brock) August 12, 2022
Florida health authorities voted last Friday to begin the process of potentially banning sex change treatments for minors, according to Politico. There is widespread disagreement within the medical community on whether such treatments are safe for young people. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses sex changes for kids, but Florida’s Department of Health has accused the Department of Health and Human Services of misleading the public on the topic. (RELATED: Bill Would Make California A Sanctuary For Child Sex Changes)
“Since taking office we have seen a dangerous mix of politics and medicine from doctors in the Biden Administration and many of our medical societies across the United States. They have often traded their oath to do no harm in exchange for political gain,” AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller told the Daily Caller. “It is imperative for states like Florida to step up and ensure our focus remains on the actual evidence, rather than the eminence of a medical society or association.”
Marstiller continued, “Our Agency will continue to maintain the promise of accountability for delivering meaningful health outcomes across our state through fundamental reforms that prioritize improving the patient experience while delivering safe, high-quality, cost-effective, and transparent care for all Floridians.”
DeSantis has taken a more aggressive tact than Florida’s healthcare regulators have so far on the issue of “gender-affirming” care for kids. He’s argued that doctors should be sued for performing sex change operations on minors and suspended a state attorney for refusing to enforce a prohibition on the procedures. His administration is also suing a bar that hosted a drag show open to children.