Wisconsin Judge Rules State Must Pay for Transgender Surgeries

A Federal Judge in Wisconsin has ruled that the State must pay the cost of gender reassignment surgery for Medicaid recipients.

Obama appointed U. S. District Court Judge William Conley ruled last week in favor of 4 transgender individuals who argued that a rule established by the Department of Human Services prohibiting the State’s Medicaid program from paying for “gender confirming surgery” affected them negatively.

The Judge agreed, saying the rule was discriminatory based on sex, under the federal Affordable Healthcare Act. In his decision, Conley stated that, “there is now a consensus within the medical profession that gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition which, if left untreated or inadequately treated can cause adverse symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or serious mental distress, self harm or suicidal ideation.”

Interestingly enough though, in 2013, the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses Edition V, the diagnostic “bible” for mental health professionals, changed it’s description of the condition from “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria” in recognition of the fact that the difference between birth gender and identity may not be pathological.

Wisconsin is one of 9 states that specifically excludes Medicaid from paying for transsexual surgery.  Judge Conley’s decision will cost Wisconsin taxpayers between $300,000 and $1,200,000 annually.

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