August 7, 2009

Imagine visiting someone in the hospital, perhaps a grandmother, friend, or even a daughter who is recovering from a minor surgery. You walk into her brightly-lit room with a handful of cheery flowers but stop suddenly when you notice her roommate. You are surprised to find a rather masculine-looking patient sitting in the other hospital bed. Hospital rooms are supposed to be single-sex, right?

Not according to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association President-elect Rebecca A. Allison. Some people are not comfortable with their sex, she says, and hospitals need to accommodate those people too. Health care is failing these patients, claims. As Ms. Allison told them, in most hospitals “a transgender patient may be addressed by an incorrect name or incorrect pronouns, perhaps even placed in a room with other patients of their birth gender.”

The Center for American Progress is urging Congress to include special coverage for transgender individuals in health care reform legislation. They complain that most insurance plans do not cover medical procedures to change a person’s sex. Adding these services would only raise premiums by an insignificant amount, they claim. (Which, by the way, is not because the services are inexpensive, it is because only a few people want them. Taxing the many to benefit the few, anyone?)

Recently, syndicated columnist Matt Barber published an article in which he reported of a conversation between Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in a committee meeting on Nationalized Health Care.  Hatch asked the "almost to the left of Obama liberal from Maryland whether the President's proposed socialized healthcare plan will mandate taxpayer funded abortion, she admitted that it will require “any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.” It now appears that the plan’s “medically appropriate” umbrella is far more expansive than most Americans could have imagined.

In addition to abortion on demand, the weight of the evidence indicates that, in fact, cosmetic “gender reassignment” surgeries for both U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants who suffer from APA recognized “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) may indeed be provided – free of charge – courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. The current price tag for such a procedure can exceed $50,000.

Page 972 of the House version of the bill (H.R. 3200) provides for “standards, as appropriate, for the collection of accurate data on health and health care” based on “sex, sexual orientation [and] gender identity.” The Senate draft indicates that the government will “detect and monitor trends in health disparities,” requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to “develop standards for the measurement of gender.” (i.e., officially recognize subjectively self-determined “transgender” or “transsexual” gender identities). It further mandates “participation in the institutions’ programs of individuals and groups from…different genders and sexual orientations.”

So, does ObamaCare expressly stipulate that taxpayer funded “sex-change” operations will be provided? No, but neither does it explicitly require coverage for heart bypass surgery. Don’t forget; we’re talking about what’s “medically appropriate” here, and look who gets to make that subjective determination: Your doctor? No, it’s "Mikulski-minded" bureaucrats within the Democratic Party. It’s a liberal-Democrat appointed government “Health Benefits Advisory Committee.” And if you think they’re not itching to pay back the homosexual, transgender and pro-abortion pressure groups that helped get them elected, I’ve got a house at 1600 Pennsylvania I want to sell you.

Now, back to your loved one in a hospital room with a pre-surgical transgendered patient. If you were to object to your loved one being placed in the same hospital room with someone of the opposite sex or to paying for someone’s sex-change operation, you would be labeled “insensitive” and “homophobic.” You will have done the unthinkable. You will have dared to question the golden calf of “sexual rights.”

Why has sexuality become such a god in American culture? No other preference is elevated to such a status. People who have a preference for not wearing clothing are relegated to nudist colonies. People who have a preference to dye their hair blue will likely not be hired for a job in a professional environment. People who have a preference for being drunk are banned from driving. People who have a preference for smoking are not welcome in most public places. People who have a preference for stealing are arrested.

Yet if a man has a preference to “marry” another man, change his sexual orientation, or be a woman, everyone is expected to accept his preference as legitimate—even though it goes against their own preferences.

Some people argue that sexuality is like race—you are born with an identity and there is nothing you can do to change it. But this simply does not make sense. A black person is born with a certain skin color. A homosexual is born with the same sexual organs as a heterosexual. A man who decides to undergo a sex change and become a woman was still born a man. The difference between the two groups is their desires (i.e. preferences). Whether or not this desire is inborn, as homosexual activists claim, homosexuals still chose to act on this desire. Just like a nudist chose to not wear clothing, an alcoholic chooses to drink, and a thief chooses to steal.

Transgender groups are becoming just one more voice crying for “equality” in our culture. Equality for what though? Transgender individuals already have equality—they are free to do exactly the same things as everyone else in society is free to do. What they really want is not equality, but social acceptance of their preferred lifestyle choice.

Of course “transgender” individuals should receive quality medical care that acknowledges their inherent dignity as human beings. A person’s preference of any kind should never be grounds for denying someone life-saving treatment. But “quality health care” by no means needs to cover non-medically necessary procedures like sex-change operations.

So why should I be forced to share a hospital room with someone who is biologically male? Why should I be forced to subsidize my co-worker’s desired sex-change operation, even though I think it is immoral? Because transgender individuals have rights! Everyone has rights! That is, everyone except straight people.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.