Applaud Expansion of Medicare Benefits

kathleen sebelius

Target: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Goal: Congratulate U.S. government for lifting a ban on Medicare coverage for gender dysphoria

A recent decision from the U.S. government to lift a ban on Medicare coverage for gender reassignment surgery should be celebrated. This is a positive step towards equality for transgender people. The decision was made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) appeals board in late May. Hopefully, this move by the government will inspire private insurers to adopt similar guidelines.

The original ban against coverage under Medicare for transgender people was enacted in 1981. It was argued then that there was not enough evidence to prove that available treatments were anything more than experiments. Today, it is widely acknowledged that gender reassignment surgery is an acceptable treatment for gender dysphoria. These newly available treatments in the Medicare program allow transgender people to make their own decisions about their bodies.

The challenge to the original ban was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. These groups must be thanked for their work to break down this barrier. The U.S. government should also be congratulated for not ignoring the discrimination that it was imposing on the transgender community. Sign this petition to thank the HHS for lifting the ban on treatment for gender dysphoria.


Dear Secretary Kathleen Sebelius,

The recent decision to expand Medicare coverage to include treatment for gender dysphoria is a positive step towards equality in health care. This decision allows members of the transgender community to make their own decisions about their bodies. I applaud your efforts to continue the government’s work to end discrimination against members of the LGBT community.

The government has set an example for private health insurers as well, and I hope that your department will continue to work towards health care equality by pressuring these companies to adopt similar regulations. Only when everyone is covered equally can the health care system in our country be considered a success.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pete Souza via Wikipedia Commons

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