Want a sex change... move to San Francisco

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4115
Want a sex change... move to San Francisco

Should taxpayers pay for sex change surgery? Even at the expense of life threatening illnesses like cancer?

San Francisco could begin offering free sex changes to residents who don?t have insurance by this time next year, even though the beleaguered taxpayers who would foot the bill for the operations are already seeing several vital services cut.

The gender-switching surgeries are part of a comprehensive program for treating transgender people that the city's Health Commission green-lighted on Tuesday and announced two days later. Backers say it will help ease the mental anguish of people who feel they are trapped in bodies of the wrong gender, but critics wonder why the taxpayers should foot the bill.

?Taxpayers cannot afford this, as there are unintended costs and unintended consequences unrelated to the actual surgery, such as their longer-term hormone treatment, psychology needs and other longer term health issues,? said Thomas Moyer, a City by the Bay resident and author of ?A Conservative Survival Guide to San Francisco.?

Under Mayor Ed Lee, the city's current budget topped $7 billion for the first time in history this year. In addition to the local tax burden, residents have seen their cash-strapped state slash an array of services. Funding for courts was slashed in Sacramento by $350 million, forcing civil litigants statewide to pay for their own court reporters. The state also completely eliminated funding for local libraries and has cut education aid to state schools.

The idea of taxpayer-funded sex change operations came out of talks between public health officials and transgender rights advocates who wanted mastectomies, genital reconstructions and other surgeries covered under San Francisco's universal health care program. City

Public Health Director Barbara Garcia said the program could be in operation late next year, once her department has studied how many people it would serve, how much it would cost and who would perform the surgeries.

Transgender advocates hailed the vote.

?All Americans, in consultation with their doctors, should be able to receive the medical care they need to live healthy lives,? said Kristina Wertz, program director for the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center. ?That?s why we applaud San Francisco?s decision to allow transgender people the ability to receive the medical care they need to be healthy.?

But Moyer said people should pay for their own sex changes, and public money would be better spent elsewhere.

?This surgery is not an essential health function, especially when it would be taking money away from those suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer, Aids, and heart disease,? Moyer said. ?We are already stretched too thin as San Francisco is facing a budget deficit and won't be able to afford the costs of this.?

Read more: Gender spenders: San Francisco to foot bill for sex changes | Fox News

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4115

I guess no one has an opinion about this. I think it is ridiculous to spend taxpayers money on cosmetic surgery. I wonder why they don't pay for breast implant surgery for women too if they are going to cover it for men who want a sex change.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I cant imagine the reasoning behind this, totally do not agree

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I feel like we beat this up just a few weeks ago about the inmate one. The basis is the same. It is a freaking horrible idea.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

I agree. I am not a fan of this surgery in general. Bad idea.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I agree. I am not a fan of this surgery in general. Bad idea.

You're not a fan of transgendered people getting surgery even if they pay for it themselves?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"blather" wrote:

You're not a fan of transgendered people getting surgery even if they pay for it themselves?

In broad terms, no I am not. I wouldn't make it illegal but I don't think it is a good idea. I struggle with this one. I don't think fake genitals and parts are a good solution or a healthy way to live. There may indeed be exceptions but generally I think it isn't the right way to go.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

That really surprises me. I know a couple of people before and after their gender-reassignment surgery who are so much happier now that they have the right body. I am not a fan of cosmetic surgery but this one makes such sense to me.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

Alberta taxpayers were paying for gender reassignment surgery, then I think it was axed, but then there was such an uproar I think it was put back on the taxpayers' plate. Not positive about that though.

I think people who want the surgery should have it. I still struggle with it being publicly funded though. However, I don't tend to split hairs over how my dollar is divided amongst provincial services. Then again, Canada's different with this stuff, and nobody would ever, ever go without life-saving chemo or radiation because somebody else had reassignment surgery.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"blather" wrote:

That really surprises me. I know a couple of people before and after their gender-reassignment surgery who are so much happier now that they have the right body. I am not a fan of cosmetic surgery but this one makes such sense to me.

The very few people I have encountered who had it seemed just as messed up as they were before.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I know a handful of people who are living in limbo, no longer a man but not yet a woman, and it's incredibly frustrating and demoralizing for them. There is something wrong with their bodies that should be fixed. I'm not sure how I feel about public funds being used, especially when so many other things that benefit thousands of people (schools, police, firefighters, services for the disabled) are being cut. But that's the paradox, sex reassignment is not covered by most insurance plans, so unless you're independently wealthy, it can take years & years to save up the tens of thousands of dollars for it. The cost is what is keeping most people from getting it done, I think, because they hate living in limbo. In Stacey's ideal world, I think I'd like to see it covered partially by insurance or public funds along with a hefty co-payment based on your individual financial standing, so it would be affordable to each person to their ability to pay, but more accessible than it currently is.

Also, I just feel need to say that Healthy San Francisco isn't necessarily a free program and it isn't available to just anyone. First, you must be able to prove that you've been a resident of S.F. for at least 90 days (which isn't cheap or easy to begin with and it's even harder for a homeless person to prove residency) and you must not have insurance or be eligible for any other public insurance programs such as Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, or Healthy Kids. The website actually says, in many places, "If you have insurance, do not drop it to enroll in Healthy San Francisco!" There is a quarterly "participation fee" of up to $450 per person plus co-payments for most services for anyone who is not on welfare or at the poverty line. Prescription coverage is very limited. Some lower-income people who get cancer are transferred out of Healthy San Francisco because their cancer makes them eligible for Medicaid. And finally, Healthy San Francisco only covers procedures done in S.F. and there is no hospital here, currently, that performs sex reassignment surgery, so it's kind of silly to say they'll cover it because they can't.