On Wednesday, a federal judge invalidated Florida regulations supported by Gov. Ron DeSantis, limiting Medicaid coverage for gender dysphoria treatments for thousands of transgender people.
The United States government has acknowledged that “gender identity is real.” In a 54-page decision, District Judge Robert Hinkle wrote.
He claimed the Affordable Care Act’s ban on sex discrimination, equal protection, and a Florida health code requirement violated federal law.
In Hinkle’s words, they are “invalid to the extent they categorically forbid Medicaid payment for puberty blockers and transgender hormones for the treatment of gender dysphoria.”
Pushing people away from their transgender identity is not a legitimate governmental interest, the judge ruled, and Florida had decided to refuse reimbursement for some treatments “for political reasons” using a skewed and unreliable method.
The DeSantis campaign did not promptly respond to a request for comment through email.
In his decision two weeks ago regarding a rule prohibiting transgender kids from getting puberty blockers, Hinkle used harsh language reminiscent of that.
A preliminary injunction was obtained by Hinkle, who was chosen by Democratic President Bill Clinton, allowing three kids to continue receiving care.
Gender-affirming therapies for children were outlawed by the DeSantis administration and the Republican-controlled Legislature, and a statute that DeSantis signed in May made it difficult or impossible for many transgender adults to receive treatment.
Although advocacy groups estimate that some 9,000 transgender people in Florida utilize Medicaid to pay for their therapies, the most recent decision included a case brought last year on behalf of two adults and two minors.
Hinkle also addressed whether gender-affirming therapies were medically essential and mentioned that the suicide, anxiety, and depression rates among transgender people are greater than those of the general population.
Medical care for transgender adolescents is coming under more and more fire; Florida is one of 19 states with legislation restricting or outlawing therapy.
However, it has been available in the United States for over ten years and is approved by significant medical organizations.
In the United States, fights over Pride Month celebrations and attempts to prevent transgender youngsters from participating in women’s sports are just two examples of how gender problems, in general, have become flashpoints in culture wars.