Blue Cross is hurting an already ill-protected minority

By |2018-01-22T18:01:11-05:00April 16th, 2009|Opinions|

I think Blue Cross’s decision to stop coverage of gender reassignment surgery is just another corporate ploy and example of discrimination to oppress a weak, marginalized and voiceless minority who cannot seek or secure justice or a fair hearing to correct an inequity (“Blue Cross nixes coverage of gender reassignment surgery, BTL March 26).
Michigan is a very conservative state with its politicians and lawmakers heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic, Baptist and Evangelical churches that find these type of medical procedures as contrary to their scriptural and dogmatic theologies and teachings as reflected in their laws. The Michigan legislature can’t even agree upon or pass school anti-bullying or hate crime legislation, so their will not be much support or recourse from the insurance regulators and lawmakers to force the insurance companies to act in a moral, humane, fair and just manner. Given the small number of transsexual people in the state’s population, and taking into consideration that many do not even want, or are ideal candidates for surgery, I would venture that the Michigan Blue Cross’s claims and loss experience is practically negligible when it comes to this very necessary procedure.
So at the end of the day, in a struggling Michigan economy, its easy for a large insurance company like the Blues to pick on a weak minority without a voice or any legal rights or recourse and just cut out coverage for this very necessary and many times life saving surgical procedure for many in the transsexual community (life saving in the sense that many TS people commit suicide because they cannot afford the very costly out of pocket expense for surgery and hormones to complete their transition).
The irony of all this is the laws of the state of Michigan require that a TS person have the necessary surgery in order to have their appropriate gender markers changed on their legal documents, which may also impact their right to secure employment, travel and other legal benefits.
This is another blatantly wrong, immoral and unjust action directed at a very oppressed and voiceless minority without any legal rights!

{ITAL Jen Marcus
Royal Oak}

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.