Representative Paul Broun does not want to pay for health insurance benefits for transsexuals for a rather selfish reason. He isn’t transsexual. He recently stated that “I don’t want to pay for a sex change operation. I’m not interested. I like being a boy.” That’s nice. I don’t believe that my insurance dollars should go to paying for Viagra, but that’s what various insurance groups do already.
Broun’s statement comes as the Essential Health Benefits standards are set to make it so that insurance companies cover the various needs of transsexuals. Transsexuals require a large number of medical procedures including intensive therapy, hormone replacement therapy, and a variety of surgeries, and that is for the lucky. There are also speech therapy needs, hair replacement, hair removal, and so forth.
There is a great deal of debate as to whether or not transsexuality is a form of intersexuality, or at least not a purely psychological “disorder” as there are a number of factors involved with being transsexual.
Transsexuals are individuals who have a psychological gender that does not match their physical sex. Exactly what defines gender is also up for debate since defining gender is incredibly difficult when isolated from the gender constructs of the culture that a person lives within.
Unfortunately, many people assume that transsexuality is a choice, and believe that gender and sex are synonymous.
Exactly what kind of benefits insurers will be expected to cover has been a bit difficult to pin down, but it appears that they will not be allowed to discriminate against transsexuals.