Taxpayers Paying Millions for Child Medical Mutilation

Nov 7, 2023

ORLANDO, FL – As the “gender surgery industry” in the United States is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2030, many states are giving the industry tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to reimburse hospitals for harmful puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and mutilating surgeries administered on children. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles reviewed the Medicaid policies for all 50 states and found that at least 25 states were using taxpayer money to cover gender surgeries in February 2021. As of November 2023, at least 26 states allow their Medicaid insurance programs for low-income families to cover medically mutilating procedures on minors. 

For instance, in Pennsylvania, a new report shows that more than $20 million from the state’s Medicaid program has been used to reimburse children’s hospitals for these often-irreversible procedures since 2015. Through a Right-To-Know request to the state, the Pennsylvania Family Institute discovered public funding for these procedures increased from about $60,000 in 2015 to more than $5 million in 2022. The data indicates the state is increasing its funding for “gender transition” procedures every year and is paying “nearly $14,000 per day” to mutilate children. Currently, three Pennsylvania hospitals are offering these procedures, including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. 

In Massachusetts, taxpayers have paid $7.6 million for child gender surgeries since 2012, including $1.4 million to the nation’s first pediatric “transgender health program” at Boston Children’s Hospital. A public records request confirmed the state’s public insurance program reimbursed the hospital which, according to the National Institutes of Health, performed 204 mutilating surgeries on minors as young as 15 years old between 2017 and 2020.

Regarding adolescent chest surgeries, which include mastectomies for females and breast implants for males, a team of researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Tennessee studied 1,130 of these procedures and found that 16.5 percent of those surgeries were paid for by taxpayers through Medicare and Medicaid. The Vanderbilt study also noted the median cost for these mutilating surgeries was nearly $30,000 with the surgeries falling between $21,285 to $45,147. Considering the median cost across the 16.5 percent of those patients using public insurance, taxpayers have paid an estimated $5.5 million just for those chest surgeries alone. According to a gender surgery price list from the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, which has been removed and was found via a web archive, chest and body surgeries were listed as costing up to $60,000. 

In August 2023, the media outlet Reuters in partnership with the health technology company Komodo Health, Inc. commissioned a study that examined insurance claims from more than 48,000 gender procedures between 2016-2019. The study involved all age groups from 12-70 and noted that 25.3 percent of those surgeries (12,127) used state-funded insurance to pay for them. 

Komodo Health’s analysis also showed 121,882 children between the ages 6-17 were diagnosed with gender dysphoria over the last five years. The data indicates the number of children being diagnosed rose steadily every year from 2017-2021. The U.S. “gender surgery industry” was once valued at $1.9 billion in 2021, and commensurate with the rise of gender dysphoria in children, the industry is expected to grow 11 percent annually. 

Dr. Shayne Taylor, a university professor and a physician at the Vanderbilt Clinic for Transgender Health, stated in a 2018 lecture that gender surgeries are “huge money makers” for the hospital. 

According to Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, director for the Center of Family Studies at Family Research Council, studies show most children suffering from gender dysphoria will “outgrow” it by adulthood. Dr. Bauwens stated these “experimental and irreversible” procedures “violate the most fundamental principle of medical ethics” of “First, do no harm.” Dr. Bauwens noted the rise of gender dysphoria diagnoses is indicative of a “cultural phenomenon” in the United States “to garner insurance reimbursement” for gender-related procedures. 

Many state legislators are realizing the harms of gender ideology and taking action to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used in this manner. Currently, at least 12 states have enacted laws or instituted policies specifically prohibiting Medicaid in their state from paying for “gender transition” services for children. These states include Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. However, federal judges have temporarily blocked state bans in both Arkansas and Florida while the courts consider a permanent decision.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Taxpayers should not be paying to irreversibly mutilate children. Allowing taxpayer-funded insurance programs to reimburse hospitals for harming children is a violation of the public good. Every state should end these reimbursements. More states need to pass laws to keep children safe from this irreparable harm.” 

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