Skip to main content

On Friday Horace posted about the opening on Thursday of a 30-day public comment period about the coverage of sexual reassignment surgery by Medicare and Medicaid Services (CSM.gov).

CMS.gov prefaced the open commentary with this remark:

Transsexual surgery for sex reassignment of transsexuals is controversial.  Because of the lack of well controlled, long term studies of the safety and effectiveness of the surgical procedures and attendant therapies for transsexualism, the treatment is considered experimental.  Moreover, there is a high rate of serious complications for these surgical procedures.  For these reasons, transsexual surgery is not covered.
That was the policy adopted in 1981.  Thirty-two years later, it has not been reviewed.

Before the commentary on that diary had finished, Horace had noted that the links seemed to be down.

It turns out that wasn't any server problem.

Now keep in mind that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS.gov) itself stated that it

considers all public comments, and is particularly interested in clinical studies and other scientific information relevant to the topic under review. Surgical Treatment for Gender Identity Disorder is currently noncovered under the Medicare Part A and Part B programs.  The existing policy, which became effective in 1981, states that transsexual surgery is considered experimental.  Please note that we are making an administrative change to the NCD title under this reconsideration to reflect current medical terminology.  The new title for Section 140.3 will be Surgical Treatment for Gender Identity Disorder.
CMS is apparently unaware that Gender Identity Disorder has been renamed to Gender Dysphoria.
Just hours after beginning the 30 day comment period Medicaid changed there minds about asking for public comments and took the link down.
It turns out that news organizations reported on the commentary period and CMS wasn't prepared for that.  The Hill has reported:
But a spokesperson said Friday evening that the proposal has been withdrawn.  HHS pulled information from its website Friday after various news media outlets reported on the issue.

The controversial decision to consider using taxpayer money to cover sex changes was sure to attract criticism from Congress.

Instead, the HHS Department Appeals Board is considering a challenge to the ruling that sex-change procedures are experimental.

That last could be promising...or result in another excuse for CMS cowardice.  I suppose we shall have to wait and see.

Originally posted to TransAction on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sex, Body, and Gender.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site