Gender reassignment surgery coverage a cost 'our once great state' can ill afford, says Oberweis
Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) thinks lawmakers' intention to start insuring gender reassignment surgery has the state headed in the wrong direction.
“Illinois needs to reduce spending, not increase spending by allowing any new elective procedures in the Medicaid program,” Oberweis said in a statement to the DuPage Policy Journal. “Medicaid ensures those most in need, the elderly, children, single parents, have access to the health care they need and we, as a state, are committed to providing. A Bernie Sanders-style expansion will simply drive up costs, and drive more residents out of our once great state.”
On Friday. state officials formally made their decision known that the program intends to start as early as this summer. The program would make any of the state’s roughly 1,400 Medicaid members currently diagnosed with gender dysphoria eligible for such procedures as genital and breast-related surgery at cost to the state. A state and federally funded program, Medicaid provides medical insurance for many of the state’s poorest and most in-need residents.
Currently, 17 other states and the District of Columbia offer such programs. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently went on record in support of Illinois joining that group.
“Health care is a right and not a privilege, and I’m committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right.”
Pritzker has also defended the move as “cost-effective” and the “right thing to do.”