HHS: Hey, never mind about Medicare/Medicaid covering sex-change operations
posted at 11:31 am on March 30, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
I’ve seen plenty of Friday night news dumps, but I’ve never actually seen a Friday night double-dump … until now. Earlier in the day, the website of the Department of Health and Human Services invited comment on a proposal to cover sex-change operations through Medicare and Medicaid. After a number of news agencies reported on the proposal, however, HHS scrubbed the site:
The Health and Human Services Department said early Friday that it would accept public comments on whether to reexamine its decision not to cover sex changes.
But a spokesperson said Friday evening that the proposal has been withdrawn. HHS pulled information from its website Friday after various news media outlets reported on the issue. …
An HHS spokesman said HHS’ Departmental Appeals Board is weighing a challenge to the department’s ruling that sex-change procedures are experimental and should not be covered by Medicare and Medicaid. While that challenge works its way through the system, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has withdrawn its proposal to reconsider the coverage policy on its own.
Well, what’s the problem? After all, Medicare and Medicaid are on solid fiscal footing, with no unfunded future liabilities promising an economic collapse in the next decade or two. ObamaCare is proving to be much less costly than anyone predicted, and doctors and other providers are simply flocking to the Medicare/Medicaid system thanks to its generous reimbursement schedules for all sorts of other maintenance and surgical procedures.
I’m sorry … let me turn off MSNBC.
It doesn’t take brain surgery to figure out why this proposal got pulled. The White House has been under fire all week thanks to two separate studies showing that ObamaCare will create large increases in premiums and job losses as it goes into effect next year. Congress has been arguing over how to limit the current Medicare/Medicaid systems to keep them from going broke and taking the American economic system with them. Some genius at HHS thinks this is the most propitious moment to talk about sticking taxpayers with sex-change surgery bills?
Smooth move. But don’t think for a moment this won’t come back later, either.