Health · June 23, 2022

Biden launches plan to protect transgender youth health care

The order follows the governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis’ move to end gender-affirming child care. The Republican governor also banned Medicaid from covering treatments like hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in February ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents who provide gender-affirming care for their children, comparing it to “child abuse.”

A government official said Biden will sign the order surrounded by LGBTQI+ children from Texas and Florida who are “personally impacted” by these guidelines. One of the kids who organized student strikes in Florida over the Don’t Say Gay law will introduce the President.

When called with reporters, an administration official said, “It’s being broadcast [a] Message. It will direct the full force of the federal government to provide resources and support to families so that while they are under attack from states, they know we are on their side and we are providing resources to help them.

Overall, Biden officials said more than 300 bills targeting LGBTQI+ rights were introduced in state legislatures this year, many of which aim to limit health care or encourage conversion therapy, a practice that condemned by major medical organizations, including the largest medical organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The bills “bully children” and “are not consistent with where the American people stand,” the administration official told reporters.

Children whose gender or sexual identity is rejected by their family are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide and 5.9 times more likely to report major depression than their peers.

Texas politics is currently stalled in court. One of the plaintiff families said their son attempted suicide the day Abbott gave his order.

Hundreds of Florida health professionals have written to the DeSantis government, warning that the policy targeting youth care “misrepresents the weight of evidence, does not allow for personalized patient- and family-centered care, and, if followed, at higher rates.” of would result in adolescent depression and suicidal tendencies.”

Biden’s health officials have expressed support for transgender health care and ending disproven conversion therapies, but federal agencies have yet to issue rules that would codify protections for treatment. HHS in November repealed a Trump-era policy that allowed providers to refuse care based on religious beliefs, and last May expanded an antidiscrimination definition in the Affordable Care Act to include gender identity.

The executive order is likely to lead to a new round of legal challenges and battles with governors and anti-transgender advocates pushing the boundaries of transgender rights.

“We’re prepared for whatever Biden throws our way,” DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential nominee, said during a news conference this month as he criticized a federal policy that would require schools providing food and nutritional assistance get an anti-discrimination language contain gender identity. “We’re fighting for it, don’t worry.”

The Justice Department warned states in March that blocking access to gender-affirming care could violate federal law and has expressed interest in court battles over the limits of transgender health care in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas.

Senior administration officials said the order would not necessarily increase costs for the health agency based on existing programs and policies, but pointed to fiscal year 2023 budget requests that would increase funding for mental health care.