Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 11 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Wisconsin taxpayers will now have to pay for sex changes following a settlement the liberal Evers administration readily accepted.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel headline Tuesday declared, “Wisconsin concedes on transgender Medicaid coverage.” It couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
Wisconsin didn’t “concede.” Gov. Tony Evers and his social justice warrior team gave up without a fight.
As Empower Wisconsin first reported in October, the Department of Health Services was putting together an emergency rule aimed at repealing a long-standing prohibition on BadgerCare covering “[d]rugs, including hormone therapy, associated with transsexual surgery or medically unnecessary alteration of sexual anatomy or characteristics” and [t]ranssexual surgery.”
DHS said it had no other choice after a federal judge ruled the state, through its Medicaid program, must cover the cost of “medically necessary gender-confirming surgery.”
Evers could have appealed the court’s ruling to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The administration clearly was not interested.
Team Evers allowed the deadline to quietly pass, as attorneys for transgender residents celebrated their legal victory.
“We applaud the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for accepting the Court’s rulings and the medical consensus that gender-confirming health care saves lives,” lead attorney Joseph Wardenski of Washington, D.C., told the newspaper.
State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo said there was no concession on the part of the Evers’ administration. It was just another assault on taxpayers and family values by a liberal governor and his far left advisers, the New Berlin Republican said.
“He’s got all of his cabinet and staffers around him, a bunch of radicals from Madison trying to Madisonize the entire state,” Sanfelippo said. “The fact that they were doing this quietly behind the scenes proves they know it’s not popular with the majority of citizens, but they don’t care. They’re just pandering to their left-wing base.”
Sanfilippo, chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Health, has been a vocal opponent of taxpayer-funded sex change procedures.
U.S. District Court Judge William Conley in his August ruling wrote that the consensus among the medical community is that gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition necessitating gender-confirming surgeries. He estimated the procedures would only cost taxpayers $300,000 to $1.2 million annually.
Former Gov. Scott Walker’s administration had appealed Conley’s 2018 preliminary injunction against the long-standing state policy barring taxpayer-funded sex changes. The judge rejected the arguments and overturned the state provision earlier this year.
In October, Sanfelippo criticized the Evers administration and Attorney General Josh Kaul for failing to defend Wisconsin law.
“You have a court ruling that comes in and right away the Evers administration is just rolling over, and rather than appealing that court decision or looking for a way to tailor the law so we could meet the Legislature’s intent, they’re going to roll over right way and change the law so the taxpayers have to end up paying for sex changes,” Sanfellipo said.
“That’s just not what our tax dollars are meant for and I don’t think this is what the majority of Wisconsin taxpayers want their dollars to be spent on.”