Lombardo, a bucking party, signs insurance coverage for the genre-affirming care bill The Nevada Independent
Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo signed a bill requiring health insurers to cover gender-affirming care for minors and transgender adults, bumping expectations as other GOP-led states across the country roll out anti-gender legislation. -LGBTQ.
Lombardo’s bill signed on Monday, SB163, requires health insurers, including Medicaid, to cover all medically necessary gender-affirming treatments and eliminate exclusions that have historically been used to avoid paying for treatments classified as cosmetics. The bill had passed by out-of-party votes from the legislature, with Republicans against it.
I think it’s a powerful symbol, actually, for a Republican governor to sign such a bill, said Sen. Dallas Harris (D-Las Vegas), one of the bill’s co-sponsors The Nevada Independent Monday evening. I’m excited.
A spokesperson for the governor did not immediately respond to a text message or email requesting comment on his decision to sign the bill.
Supporters of the legislation say the law will ensure transgender adults and children have access to health care by requiring insurance to cover medically necessary health treatments. Nevada law defines medically necessary as health care services or products that a prudent health care provider would provide to a patient to prevent, diagnose, or treat an illness, injury, or disease, or any necessary symptom.
Several studies have found that gender-affirming care leads to a lower risk of depression and suicide in transgender adults and even more among transgender youth. Other studies also confirm that LGBTQ youth and adults are far more likely to experience depression, suicide, and other negative mental health outcomes than cisgender youth and adults. Cisgender refers to people whose gender identity matches their registered sex at birth.
This bill goes a long way toward clarifying access to medically necessary treatments for transgender people, transgender rights attorney Brooke Maylath said in a phone call Tuesday.
Sigal Chattah, the state’s Republican National Committee woman and candidate for attorney general in 2022, criticized Lombardo’s signing of the bill in a series of messages posted on Twitter, including by calling it a laughingstock. The Nevada Republican Party also opposed the bill before its first hearing in the legislature.
Asked by KRNV extension Regarding his decision to sign the bill into law, Lombardo said Tuesday, I implore people to read the bill. It’s not as draconian or harmful or unethical as people describe it.
Senator Melanie Scheible (D-Las Vegas), sponsor of the bill, said in a statement to The Nevada Independent that SB163 is especially important because it comes as other legislatures are passing bills limiting access to gender-affirming services. As of 2023, at least 18 Republican-led states have signed such bills into law.
At a time when states across the country are passing draconian laws to limit the existential rights of trans and non-binary people, Nevada is doing the opposite, Scheible said. Home can mean Nevada to people of all genders as a direct result of the hard work of transgender and civil rights organizers.
SB163 is one of three major bills introduced during the 82nd Legislative Session aimed at increasing protections for LGBTQ residents. Lombardo has already signed one, SB153, which requires the Nevada Department of Corrections to adopt standards for the protection of transgender, gender nonconforming and nonbinary prisoners.
Lombardo vetoed the third LGBTQ protection bill, SB302. He would have protected health care providers who provided gender-affirming care from losing their medical license and would have prohibited the state executive branch from helping another state investigate a Nevada provider for offering sex-affirmation care. type.
In his veto message, Lombardo cited concerns about the provision of gender-affirming care to minors. Advocates said SB302 would not scrap existing parental consent laws and change the law surrounding minors consenting to medical treatment, meaning minors would still need parental consent for treatment. They pointed out that without the protections proposed under SB302, providers could leave Nevada, leading to reduced access to gender-affirming care and potentially exacerbating the state’s provider shortage.
Although SB163 was successful in 2023, a similar measure faced a more difficult path during the 2021 session. Scheible introduced a bill during that session to grant access to care insurance that affirms gender, but it was never voted on.
One thing about the Nevada Way is being especially persistent when it comes to things that are difficult, hard, and meaningful, Harris said. It often takes multiple sessions to do this.
The American Psychiatric Association reports that while 2.3% of heterosexual and cisgender adults contemplate suicide, 4.4% of gay or lesbian adults and 30.8% of transgender adults experience suicidal thoughts.
These rates are highest among transgender youth. A 2022 survey found that 45 percent of LGBTQ youth have considered suicide, and one in five transgender and non-binary youth have attempted suicide.
Gender incongruity refers to a condition in which an individual experiences a mismatch between gender identity and physical sexual characteristics. Healthcare professionals describe gender dysphoria as a condition in which an individual experiences distress or distress due to a mismatch between gender identity and gender assigned at birth.
During the first hearing on the bill, nurse Rob Phoenix and the owner of the Las Vegas-based Huntridge Family Clinic, the largest provider of LGBTQ claim care in Nevada, said claim assistance gender is essential.
This is a medical condition that someone is born with and we need to help them match inside out. And that’s why it’s important, Phoenix said in an interview with The Nevada Independent before the hearing. I look at this from a damage reduction perspective. So we’re trying to improve healthy behaviors.
This story was updated on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at 2:53 pm to include a statement Lombardo made to KRNV.
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