February 6, 2018 at 4:17 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Anti-trans health insurance discrimination bill defeated in Va.

transgender, Gender Conference East, trans, transgender flag, gay news, Washington Blade

A bill would ban health insurance companies from discriminating against policyholders in Virginia because of their gender identity was tabled on Feb. 6, 2018. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee on Tuesday tabled a bill that would have banned health insurance providers from discriminating against transgender policyholders in the state.

State Del. Debra Rodman (D-Henrico County) introduced House Bill 1466 last month. State Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), who is the first openly trans person seated in a state legislature in the U.S., was the measure’s chief co-sponsor.

“Everyone deserves access to medically necessary care no matter their gender presentation,” wrote Rodman on her Twitter page after the committee tabled her bill. “We won’t stop until we get it.”

Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish in a statement to the Washington Blade said trans people, “like everyone else, deserve to live their lives without healthcare providers denying or limiting coverage because of gender identity.”

“We are disappointed that the Commerce and Labor subcommittee defeated Del. Rodman’s bill despite the recommendation of every major medical association who stand in agreement that transition-related care is medically necessary and should not be excluded from health insurance,” he added. “18 states plus D.C. have already adopted laws or regulations that protect transgender people from insurance discrimination, and we hope that soon Virginia will join them.”

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia CEO Jennifer Allen also criticized the vote.

”No person should be denied health insurance coverage because of who they are. However, transgender patients often face barrier after barrier when seeking health care,” she said. “We are disappointed that conservative delegates defeated HB 1466 that would have eliminated health insurance discrimination against transgender individuals.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Soulds like a good decision to me. Why force skilled healthcare providers to perform “procedures” that they are unwilling to perform? Would YOU want to be under such a provider’s care as a cross-dresser?

    • Transition related procedures are already specialist medicine. You have to train for it. So I don’t think that’s the biggest concern here.

      The issue is that these bills could make it so that providers can deny routine care, like hormones. Providers being doctors, nurses, clinic administrators, the grocery store pharma tech…

      The other concern— the bigger one, from my perspective— is the denial of non-trans related healthcare. Some of these bills are phrased so that a healthcare practitioner can deny me ANYTHING— just because they disagree with who and what I am.

      So a doctor can refuse to set a broken bone, a pharmacist can refuse to refill my albuterol inhaler, and an EMT can refuse CPR.

      This is a dangerous situation from the top-down, and it affects way more than trans folks.

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