Headline RoundupDecember 1st, 2022

Biden Admin Signals Support for Taxpayer-Funded Gender Transition Procedures

AllSides Summary

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra suggested this week that the Biden Administration supports using taxpayer dollars to cover "medically necessary" gender transition surgeries.

Key Quotes: When asked by Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) about taxpayers funding transition surgeries and performing those surgeries on minors without their parents’ consent, Becerra said that "Payers, both public and private, should cover treatments which medical experts determine to be medically necessary." Miller said Becerra "confirmed that the Biden Administration is using taxpayer dollars to push young children to have sex change operations and take dangerous chemicals that do permanent damage to their bodies."

For Context: In some states such as Maine, taxpayer-funded gender transition surgeries have risen in recent years, from 24 surgeries in 2019 to 82 in 2022. Recent studies estimate that the number of U.S. youths identifying as transgender has doubled in the last five years. Maine, California, and other states have approved using taxpayer money for gender transition procedures in recent years. Meanwhile, some Republicans have introduced legislation seeking to ban "the use of federal funds for gender reassignment medical interventions."

How the Media Covered It: Becerra's comments have only been covered by right-rated outlets, with some framing taxpayer-funded gender transition surgeries as a violation of religious freedom and a misuse of federal and state funds. Left- and center-rated sources rarely, if ever, focus on gender transition procedures in the context of taxpayer funding, and instead concentrate more on issues of access and acceptance.

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