GOP Attorney Generals from 18 red states across the nation jumped into action behind Ron DeSantis’ Florida and filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, supporting its decision to block Medicaid from covering transgender medical procedures and drugs.
Florida, as background, prohibited Medicaid from paying for such procedures by having the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration add a rule in 2022. That rule was then attacked by two transgender adults and, over the summer, a judge appointed by Bill Clinton, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, struck down the new rule.
The case now in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where Florida is fighting for the rule with the support of Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Attorneys General of those states registered their support in an amicus brief, or brief in support of one party meant to aid the court’s decision, in which they argue that those interests supporting transgender procedures, namely the American Academy of Pediatrics and WPATH, are not acting responsibly in their promotion of and guidelines promulgated for such procedures.
Further, they argue that Florida is right in stopping Medicaid from paying for the procedures because it has a substantial and valid interest in protecting its citizens from having to foot the bill for the procedures, which are often very expensive.
Attorney General Marshall of Alabama, commenting on the matter, said, “Healthcare authorities in the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, and elsewhere have all recently recognized that gender-transition procedures are experimental, if not pre-experimental. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration came to the same conclusion.”
AG Marshall continued, “Yet the district court rejected that growing consensus and deferred instead to radical interest groups like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, which advocates for gender transitioning procedures for gender dysphoric youth and ‘medically necessary’ castration for men self-identifying as eunuchs. Thankfully, the Constitution does not put WPATH in charge of the health and welfare of Florida’s citizens.”
That view was echoed by the amicus brief, which argued, “Florida’s determination that gender reassignment treatments are experimental is reasonable because it fits comfortably within the mainstream of medical opinion that has conducted or reviewed systematic assessments of the evidence. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the entities that have done this are not the medical interest groups on which the district court relied, but governmental medical authorities in countries such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and Norway. Based on the evidence reviews they conducted, healthcare authorities in these countries have called for curtailing the availability of transitioning treatments for minors. As the council responsible for the assessment of public healthcare services in Finland put it, ‘[i]n light of available evidence, gender reassignment of minors is an experimental practice.’ That is just what Florida determined.”
The matter of if the treatments are experimental or not is important because it was a large part of the basis for Florida’s determination that Medicaid, and thus taxpayers, should not have to pay for the surgeries, treatments, and drugs.
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