“Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and I’m committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right,” said Governor Pritzker. “Expanding Medicaid to cover gender-affirming surgeries is cost-effective, helps avoid long term health consequences, and most importantly is the right thing to do.
Health care is a right, not a privilege, and I’m committed to ensuring all Illinoisans have access to that right. https://t.co/AsAkifN0S6
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) April 5, 2019
“With continued attacks coming from Washington,” Said Pritzker, “this administration will always stand with our transgender community and their right to lead safe and healthy lives.”
Governor Pritzker’s own family knows the cost of anti-transgender dysphoria inducing laws and rhetoric.
I want to lift up the voice of my cousin Jennifer Pritzker, a transgender Republican who served as a lieutenant colonel in the US Army – and a person I’m very proud of. Jennifer was denied her voice for far too long. https://t.co/JgwbIgMijv
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) January 23, 2019
Illinois is home to 31 known hate groups such as the Illinois Family Institute, which can be counted on to lead a vitriolic campaign opposing this advancement in healthcare.
One transphobic legislator has already promised to file a bill opposing the Health and Family Services policy. Calling transgender health care ‘morally offensive’ State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) said he is drafting legislation to block the policy change.
The Department said in a statement that it has begun developing administrative rules to offer this coverage and will ask for Input from stakeholders and the public will be considered during the public comment period. The Department anticipates coverage will become available to Medicaid members upon adoption of the administrative rule, which is likely to be this summer.
Under the proposed coverage rules, Medicaid members age 21 and older who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria will now be eligible for genital and breast-related surgeries.
CBS reports that 1,400 of the 3.1 million Medicaid members in Illinois are diagnosed with gender dysphoria and last year, around 2,500 prescriptions for hormone therapy were covered.