Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Great News From The AMA!

TransGriot Note: The good news just keeps on coming for us. A legislative victory in Colorado, positive responses to the Transgender Pride March in Northampton, and now this wonderful news out of Chicago.

The American Medical Association's House of Delegates, their highest policy making body yesterday passed a resolution yesterday calling for the removal of financial barriers imposed on transpeople by public and private insurance companies.

Resolution: 122

Introduced by: Resident and Fellow Section, Massachusettes Medical Society, California Medical Association, Medical Society of the State of New York

Subject: Removing Financial Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients
Referred to: Reference Committee A

Whereas, The American Medical Association opposes discrimination on the basis of
gender identity and

Whereas, Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a serious medical condition recognized as such in both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Ed., Text 5 Revision) (DSM-IV-TR) and the International Classification of Diseases (10th Revision), and is characterized in the DSM-IV-TR as a persistent discomfort with one’s assigned sex and with one’s primary and secondary sex characteristics, which causes intense emotional pain and suffering; and

Whereas, GID, if left untreated, can result in clinically significant psychological distress, dysfunction, debilitating depression and, for some people without access to appropriate medical care and treatment, suicidality and death; and

Whereas, The World Professional Association For Transgender Health, Inc. (“WPATH”) is the leading international, interdisciplinary professional organization devoted to the understanding and treatment of gender identity disorders, and has established internationally accepted Standards of Care for providing medical treatment for people with GID, including mental health care, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery, which are designed to promote the health and welfare of persons with GID and are recognized within the medical community to be the standard of care for treating people with GID; and

Whereas, An established body of medical research demonstrates the effectiveness and
medical necessity of mental health care, hormone therapy and sex reassignment
surgery as forms of therapeutic treatment for many people diagnosed with GID; and

Whereas, Health experts in GID, including WPATH, have rejected the myth that such
treatments are “cosmetic” or “experimental” and have recognized that these treatments can provide safe and effective treatment for a serious health condition; and

Whereas, Physicians treating persons with GID must be able to provide the correct
treatment necessary for a patient in order to achieve genuine and lasting comfort with his or her gender, based on the person’s individual needs and medical history; and

Whereas, The AMA opposes limitations placed on patient care by third-party payers when such care is based upon sound scientific evidence and sound medical opinion; and

Whereas, Many health insurance plans categorically exclude coverage of mental health, medical, and surgical treatments for GID, even though many of these same treatments, such as psychotherapy, hormone therapy, breast augmentation and removal,
hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and salpingectomy, are often covered for
other medical conditions; and

Whereas, The denial of these otherwise covered benefits for patients suffering from GID represents discrimination based solely on a patient’s gender identity; and

Whereas, Delaying treatment for GID can cause and/or aggravate additional serious and expensive health problems, such as stress-related physical illnesses, depression, and substance abuse problems, which further endanger patients’ health and strain the health care system; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the AMA support public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That the AMA oppose categorical exclusions of coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder when prescribed by a physician (Directive to Take Action).

Fiscal Note: No significant fiscal impact.


cybelline1 said...

On june 16 I wrote a comment in a blog that lauded the marriage of the Gays and Lesbians in California. I exlained that gay marriage did not mean much to me becuase it would not effect my life. I despaired of ever forwarding our cause of trans civil rights if we continued let the LG community distract us with their issues.

This news is precisely what I was talking about. Trans rights are for trans persons. Thank you for bringing me this wonderful article.

New Black Woman said...

That is, indeed, good news. It's always refreshing to see states and local bodies finally move into the 21st century when it comes to civil rights for all.

Trinity said...

Hooray! I have linked this on my livejournal.

Monica Roberts said...

This is wonderful news!