88th LegislatureHealthcareIssuesLawmaker Files Bill to Require Healthcare Coverage for Gender ‘Detransitioners’

Child gender modification is a priority this session and this bill would add healthcare coverage for those who seek a 'gender transition reversal'
March 8, 2023
A Texas lawmaker has introduced House Bill (HB) 3502 to require health insurance coverage for individuals suffering adverse effects of gender detransitioning. 

State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) filed the bill after the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2023 Texas Policy Summit, where a panel discussion was held on “Protecting Children from Radical Gender Ideology.”

On that panel was a detransitioner, Chloe Cole, who made mention of her difficulties with healthcare and how “there are no standards of care for detransitioners.” 

“I wasn’t helped at all,” she said.

Gender modification procedures have been a topic of discussion in Texas with multiple proposals being presented to ban the practice. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made ending child gender modification a priority for the Senate this legislative session. 

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The number of teenagers who identify as transgender has risen between 2017 and 2022. The Williams Institute, a progressive LGBT policy think tank, reports that there are now over 300,000 children aged 13 to 17 who identify as transgender.

Of the many hypotheses as to what caused this sharp incline in identification over recent years, one of the most prominent is “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.”

Rapid-onset gender dysphoria is described as an emergent phenomenon wherein young people, through social influence, poor mental health, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and maladaptive coping skills, begin to identify as the opposite gender. 

“The Gender Affirmative Model: What We Know and What We Aim to Learn” was introduced in 2013, and “gender affirmation” has become the guiding practice for many doctors and clinicians in the United States. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) describes “gender identity” as “a person’s basic internal sense” and sex as a “biological construct.” The APA describes “gender-affirming care” and medical interventions as a way for “people to transition their external body to represent who they are in their mind.”

The medical community has adopted a “gender-affirming care” model for treating cases of gender dysphoria. Doctors now support the idea that “gender may be fluid and is not binary.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued legal opinions on gender transition arguing that those types of procedures would constitute child abuse under Texas law.

Contrary to some reports, child gender modification options such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are not completely reversible. 

An article in Nature reported on the use of puberty blockers, stating that “some scientists worry that putting off puberty in older children may disrupt bone and brain development, reducing bone density and leading to cognitive problems.”

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health acknowledges that there is “limited data” on the use of cross-sex hormones and that there are associations with cardiovascular and metabolic risks when using hormone therapy. 

According to the DSM-5, the standard classification for mental disorders used by mental health clinicians, when gender dysphoric children are left alone, their “desistance” of dysphoric feelings ranges between 70 to 97.8 percent in boys and 50 to 88 percent in girls. This has been replicated in multiple studies showing similar results.

“Parents who support, implement, or encourage a gender social transition (and clinicians who recommend one) are implementing a psychosocial treatment that will increase the odds of long-term persistence,” stated Kenneth Zucker, a leading expert on gender identity in children.

Medicare covers both hormone therapy and gender transition-related surgery if deemed medically necessary. With the changing landscape of progressive gender ideology becoming the norm in how the definition of “medically necessary” has changed, this bill would cover those individuals negatively affected by these types of interventions.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the name of the American Psychiatric Association. We regret the error.


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.