Vermont to Allow Taxpayer-Funded Transgender Surgery For Children

Vermont to allow gender reassignment surgery for minors

Children in Vermont who claim to be transgender could soon be allowed to undergo taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery without having to wait until they are 21.

The new rule proposed at the end of May will allow kids and teens covered by Medicaid and who have informed parental consent to begin sex reassignment surgeries at younger ages, said Nissa James, Department of Vermont Health Access policy director, reported the Burlington Free Press.

Breitbart.com reports: The sex reassignment surgeries covered by Medicaid include 16 types of genital surgery as well as breast augmentation or mastectomy.

According to the report, Dr. Rachel Inker, who heads the Transgender Health Clinic at the Community Health Centers of Burlington, welcomed the new rule.

“Having young people have to wait until they were 21 just didn’t really make any sense,” Inker said.

The Free Press continued:

The choice to have surgery is a personal one that should be explored in every age group, Inker said, although people who are young enough can be given puberty-blocking treatments to inhibit development of secondary sex characteristics like breasts or facial hair.

Older teens may have already developed those characteristics, Inker said, and face going to college or getting a job while their gender identity and gender presentation are mismatched.

She cited young transgender men wishing to get top surgery to remove breast tissue as an example of the kind of procedures commonly requested by teenagers between 16 and 18.

4thWaveNow, a coalition of “parent-skeptics who question medicalizing gender-atypical youth,” tweeted about the new Vermont rule:

In order to receive the Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgeries, requirements include a clinical evaluation stating the surgery is a “medical necessity” and a referral from a “qualified mental health professional.”

The documentation of the “qualified mental health professional” is to include “diagnosis of persistent gender dysphoria” and documentation of the child’s “participation in a treatment plan in consolidating gender identity.” In addition, the mental health professional must demonstrate the child has been counseled with regard to “treatment options and implications.”

Vermont is one of 18 states in which militant LGBTQ activists have been successful in convincing enough lawmakers that normal counseling for children and teens who claim to experience discomfort with their biological sex must be banned.

The laws that ban so-called “conversion therapy” seek to crush the notion that children who claim to be a gender that is incompatible with their biological sex are psychologically impaired. Despite clinical evidence that many of these children come from families with significant psychological dysfunction, LGBTQ activists have pushed the narrative that the high rate of suicidal ideation found in this population is due solely to the lack of immediate affirmation of the perceived gender identity.

A study published in August by Dr. Lisa Littman, an assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University, found 87 percent of teens were reported by their parents to have “come out” as transgender after increased time spent on social media and the Internet and after “cluster outbreaks” of gender dysphoria among their groups of friends.

Most of the teens who claimed to be transgender had also already been identified with at least one mental health disorder.

The study drew the ire of LGBTQ activists.

Dr. Quentin Van Meter, an Atlanta pediatric endocrinologist who trained at Johns Hopkins University when “transsexualism” was first studied, told Breitbart News in September that, since gender ideology has been forced on the American people, “every single transgender patient who has come to me has come from a totally dysfunctional family.”

“There’s nothing normal about the environment where these children are brought up,” Van Meter explained. “There are emotional traumas left and right. It is so obvious that what we’re doing is painting over the trauma.”

Children and teens who present for counseling with concerns about gender issues in states that have passed therapy bans must be immediately “affirmed” as their perceived gender, without the normal evaluation process that occurs in counseling young people. In these states, mental health professionals who choose to explore with the child the possible reasons for the gender dysphoria could be stripped of their license to practice.

A review of the issue of gender dysphoria in young people in 2018 in the Atlantic highlighted the problem that arises when legislative “bans” on mental health treatment are lobbied by LGBTQ rights organizations that seem to know little about the psychological development of children:

The Human Rights Campaign’s “Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics” web page … asserts that “being transgender is not a phase, and trying to dismiss it as such can be harmful during a time when your child most needs support and validation.” Similarly, parents who consult the pages tagged “transgender youth” on GLAAD’s site will find many articles about supporting young people who come out as trans but little about the complicated diagnostic and developmental questions faced by the parents of a gender-exploring child.

According to the Free Press, Dana Kaplan, executive director of Outright Vermont, emphasized the proposed rule to make sex reassignment surgery available to children is necessary because a “staggering” percentage of young people claiming to be of another gender have thought about suicide.

“When a kid gets to the point where they say ‘I really, really need this to be comfortable in my body’ — again, why would we get in the way of that?” he said.