Arizona has recently sharply demarcated itself from the political correctness that has been spreading around the world in recent years, and it seems to have gotten itself into a lot of trouble. It refused to provide medical care to two transsexuals who wish to get rid of their breasts and long a chest masculinizing mastectomy. The state is now facing lawsuit.
The two underaged girls were recommended the medical procedure of chest reconstruction on the basis of examination by a pediatrician and a therapist. They have therefore enrolled in the state's Medicaid program, which provides financial assistance to adolescents who are not yet self-employed in these situations. They were looking forward to their new selves. Alas, Arizona didn't allow Medicaid to cover the medical expenses. Apparently, the state follows an ordinance issued in 1982, which bans gender reassignment operations.
State organizations joined the cause
The lawsuit was filed with the help of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) with legal counsel of King & Spalding LLP and Perkins Coie LLP. It argues that the state restriction violates the Medicaid Act, the Affordable Care Act, and the Equal Protection Provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
"The categorical exclusion of surgical treatment for gender dysphoria unacceptably discriminates against transgender people,"
Asaf Orr, a lawyer at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, wrote in a statement, adding that both girls currently have to wear a chest bandage that may be uncomfortable or painful. Moreover, it makes it difficult for them to participate in physical activity. In addition, the lawsuit suggests that the girls had been suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts before they came out as transgender, and that refusing treatment caused them physical and mental harm.
"Chest masculinizing mastectomy is essential to the health and well-being of young transgender people, and federal law requires Arizona to cover it,"
claimed Abbi Coursolle, lawyer with the National Health Law Program. How it all turns out and whether something will change in the perception of trans people remains to be seen. Unfortunately, Arizona has already proven to be a particularly hostile state in this regard. Last year, the legislature approved a regulation banning transgender athletes from participating in school events and competitions.