American Medical Association Supports Transgender Health Care
Kathy Padilla notes:
AMA Supports Transgender Health Care
GLAD Applauds Decision
by William Henderson
June 16, 2008
The House of Delegates of the American Medical Association, meeting in Chicago today, June 16, passed a resolution for “Removing Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients,” which states “Resolved, that our American Medical Association support public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder as recommended by the patient’s physician.”
Getting appropriate medical care, from psychotherapy to hormone therapy to any range of surgeries, is a struggle for most transgender people due to prejudice, ignorance, and simple discrimination, said Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. [See GLAD Launches Transgender Rights Project, Issue 1744, Page 3].
“This resolution is hugely important, coming from the country’s most respected medical organization. Transgender people have to climb over so many barriers in order to get appropriate care, not the least of which is insurance coverage,” said Levi. “ The AMA resolution should help providers, insurers, courts and legislatures put gender identity disorder in its proper context – as a treatable health condition that insurers should cover without discrimination.”
GLAD’s work to challenge bias in health care against transgender people includes its current litigation of the U.S. Tax Court case, O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, in which the IRS refused to consider deductible the medical expenses associated with care of treatment of Rhiannon O’Donnabhain’s gender identity disorder. “The questions that were raised in Rhiannon’s case about the legitimacy of the GID diagnosis and appropriateness of its care and treatment are all answered in the affirmative by this AMA resolution,” commented Levi. “This resolution firmly rejects the IRS’s position that gender identity disorder is without a medical basis or that there is any question about the effectiveness of the established treatments for it.”
The AMA’s resolution and a Q & A about the resolution can be found on GLAD’s Web site at http://www.glad.org.