Thursday, January 26, 2023

No Kidding!

Allegations of officials skirting the law are surfacing over Florida’s new trans children healthcare policy. I think we knew that the policy was fudged to get the anti-trans policy that they wanted.

State employee alleges Florida sidestepped process in excluding gender-affirming care from Medicaid
The Hill
By Brooke Migdon
January 21, 2023

Florida health officials circumvented traditional regulatory channels to draft a report recommending gender-affirming health care be excluded from coverage under Medicaid, a state employee alleges in an exchange included in new court filings.

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which controls most of the state’s Medicaid program, wrote in a June report that available medical literature provides “insufficient evidence” that puberty blockers, hormones and gender-affirming surgeries are safe and effective treatments for gender dysphoria and therefore excluded them from Medicaid coverage because they are “experimental and investigational.”

No s**t Sherlock!

As soon as any trans person read it knew that it was bogus, their policy flew in the face of every single medical association’s standards of care.

But new court documents filed late Friday by plaintiffs in a case challenging Florida’s Medicaid exclusion include allegations from an AHCA employee that state health officials did not follow customary procedures for developing generally accepted professional medical standards (GAPMS) in creating the June report.

Documentation of an email exchange between Christopher Cogle, the chief medical officer of Florida Medicaid, and Jeffrey English, an AHCA employee, show evidence of tension within the agency over the GAPMS recommendation on treatments for gender dysphoria.

But political ideology won out over science.

The AHCA report in June acknowledged that groups such as the AMA and AAP support the use of puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries to treat gender dysphoria but said that “none of those organizations rely on high-quality evidence.”

This is unbelievable! They are saying that the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are not reliable medical authorities! And they admitted in court…

Court documents filed Friday also show the AHCA determined as recently as 2016 that it cannot “categorically exclude” the prescription of puberty blockers to treat gender dysphoria in transgender youths under Medicaid, though the agency admitted at the time that it was unable to determine “whether puberty suppression therapy is considered a health service that is consistent with generally accepted professional medical standards.”

What changed since then?

Simple: the governor is promoting his political pogrom against us.

In addition to instituting a state Medicaid policy explicitly excluding coverage for gender-affirming health care, Florida’s Board of Medicine — whose membership consists of doctors appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — in October voted to begin drafting a rule to ban puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgeries for transgender youths under 18.

He stacked the deck against us.

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