San Francisco has approved a measure that utilizes taxpayer funds to pay for the sex-change operations of the uninsured, becoming the first city in the nation to do so.
The Health Commission okayed the move last week, following long talks between health officials and citizens who expressed their desire to obtain mastectomies and reconstruction of their reproductive organs. It was approved despite Mayor Ed Lee’s slashing of other city services and increased taxes due to record budget needs of $7 billion dollars.
“[It will] help ease the mental anguish of people who feel they are trapped in bodies of the wrong gender,” officials state.
“All Americans, in consultation with their doctors, should be able to receive the medical care they need to live healthy lives,” Kristina Wertz, program director for the Transgender Law Center told reporters. “That’s why we applaud San Francisco’s decision to allow transgender people the ability to receive the medical care they need to be healthy.”
However, others are disturbed about the passage of the measure. They state that those who wish to have such surgeries should pay for the procedure themselves.
“Taxpayers cannot afford this, as there are unintended costs and unintended consequences unrelated to the actual surgery, such as their longer-term hormone treatment, psychology needs and other longer term health issues,” said resident Thomas Moyer.
According to reports, male to female surgeries cost approximately $37,000 and female to male surgeries cost $77,000.
Public Health Director Barbara Garcia stated that the program could be in full swing by late 2013 following further research on the cost of the operations, as well as the number of people who actually would seek to alter their gender.
Healthy San Francisco, the city’s current health care plan, already covers hormonal treatments and counseling, as per the approval of former mayor Gavin Newsome. It also covers the surgeries of government employees. However, the Transgender Law Center opined that it was unfair that other residents could not receive the services.
The city states that it does not have the resources to currently perform sex-change operations, and is researching the matter.
San Francisco is stated to have been at the center of the homosexual movement in the 1970’s, and has remained one of the most “gay” friendly cities in the United States.