A bill in Oregon explicitly would require Oregon health-insurance plans to pay for gender-transition medical interventions — including cosmetic procedures such as electrolysis and facial feminization surgery — while not concomitantly requiring equivalent coverage for detransition care. From HB 2002 (my emphasis):
(b) “Gender-affirming treatment” means a procedure, service, drug, device or product that a physical or behavioral health care provider prescribes to treat an individual for incongruence between the individual’s gender identity and the individual’s sex assignment at birth.
(c) “Health benefit plan” has the meaning given that term in ORS 743B.005 [meaning, a licensed insurance company, a health care contractor, an HMO, or an association of employers].
Detransitioners are seeking care to restore congruence with their born sex. That’s apparently a distinction that makes a big difference in terms of the proposal.
Republican representative Ed Diehl thought the same thing. So, he filed an amendment to provide equal coverage for medical services for detransitioners and transitioners alike. Democrats rejected it out of hand. Diehl told me in an email:
I introduced a -11 Amendment to House Bill 2002. It would have mandated insurance coverage for detransition treatments, similar to how the base bill covers “gender-affirming treatment”. The amendment was flatly rejected by the Democrats. They called the amendment “controversial”.
Diehl asked whether the Legislative Council believed the bill covered detransition services and was told it does not. This distinction in the bill affirms an issue about which detransitioners bitterly complain: They are often able to get financial coverage to transition, but not detransition.
If the idea is to ensure people can harness medical science to obtain the physical attributes of the sex with which they identify, that would seem to be illogical. So, why fund one but not the other? My theory:
- First, gender transition is seen as progressive, while detransition is seen as reactionary and confirming the binary.
- Second, progressives hate the message that detransitioners communicate that how one feels today about their gender may not be felt tomorrow.
- Third, gender ideology was conceived as a one-way street aimed at undermining traditional morality, while detransitioning pushes in the other direction.
This is all so corrosive to societal cohesiveness, and goodness knows how it will end. But good on Representative Diehl for bringing greater clarity to this important social controversy. Some gender identifications are seen by progressives as better than others.