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What A Rational Discussion About Healthcare Reform And "Sex Change Operations" Actually Looks Like

Recently, I thought I addressed pretty directly how Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality was being used as a tool of the insurance industry when he engaged in wrote about how “sex change operations” were allegedly going to be a big portion of the “Obama Tranny-Care” plan for healthcare reform. Mr. LaBarbera continued his attacks on the “Obama Tranny-Care” plan on Thursday — still based on the drummed up worry that the healthcare reform will include some form of allowance for “sex change operations.” This time, instead of going after me directly, or explaining the Peter LaBarbera plan for insuring 47-million uninsured Americans, he goes after the larger target of Rachel Maddow in his piece Maddow Stumbles on Obama-Care and Transsexual ‘Sex-Change’ Surgeries: Barber (this time we saved Mr. LaBarbera’s red, white, and blue formatting):

Maddow Misinformation: MSNBC’s resident lesbian activist Rachel Maddow (left) lied about Matt Barber’s press statement regarding the potential of Obama-Care to become “Tranny-Care” by mandating coverage for body-disfiguring transsexual “sex change” operations.

Folks, we hope that Rachel Maddow (left) — the lesbian MSNBC talker who is as “out” in her homosexuality promotion as in her left-wing activism — takes up the offer of my good friend Matt Barber and lets him appear as a guest on her show. That seems only fair after Maddow lied about Barber’s statement on Obama-care and “sex-change” operations.

We understand that liberals don’t want to talk (rationally, anyway) about Obama-care covering abortions and grotesque transsexual “sex-change” procedures as “health care.” That is why we must discuss these awful possibilities. (By the way, even before Barber’s column, below, the conservative Heritage Foundation’s blog noted that President Obama’s favorite think tank, the liberal-left Center for American Progress, was beating the drums for adding “sex change operations to the list of medical procedures that all health insurance policies in the nation must cover.”) — Peter LaBarbera,

Mr. LaBarbera continues on to include a piece by his friend Matt Barber, but not before including a call to attend his Americans For Truth About Homosexuality fundraiser that’s right in the middle of his piece on sex change operations. It’s the “First let’s hear a word from your sponsor moment…

BANQUET REMINDER:  Culture warrior and former professional boxer Matt Barber (right) is coming to Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 24 to keynote the AFTAH fundraising banquet. The dinner is being held at the Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL, and tickets are $50 per person. You can prepay online (just note “AFTAH banquet” in the Paypal or Credit Card form) or mail your check (designate it “AFTAH Banquet”) to: Americans For Truth, PO Box 5522, Naperville, IL 60567-5522. Please spread the word and make plans to come! E-mail or for more information.

Good gravy boat, so to speak. In all that commentary, no apology from Mr. LaBarbera for his previous use of defamatory language? And hey — What does this dinner have to do with health care reform or “sex change operations”?

Certainly, I appreciate that Peter LaBarbera references an article here at Pam’s House Blend when he states “liberals” are not wanting to “rationally” (see his link related to his article’s rationally, anyway phrase) discuss “Obama-care covering abortions and grotesque transsexual ‘sex-change’ procedures as ‘health care.'” Really. And when we’re discussing 47-million Americans without healthcare, compared to the perhaps 1,000 to 1,500 transsexuals who annually obtain genital reconstruction surgery — or should I more correctly say 1,170 transsexuals a year — we’re talking serious money, correct?

The Liberty Council, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, and the general public should be interested in regarding the prevalence and cost of genital reconstruction surgery (also referred to as sex reassignment surgery, gender reassignment surgery, and “sex change operations”). I’ve linked here to two research papers by Mary Ann Horton, PhD, that goes to the prevalence and cost of genital reconstruction surgery (GRS) entitled The Incidence and Prevalence of SRS among US Residents, and The Cost of Transgender Health Benefits. A summary of the prevalence and cost of genital reconstruction surgery from the website

The research study was undertaken from 2001 through 2008 by Mary Ann Horton, Ph.D. The goal was to measure the frequency and cost of sex reassignment surgeries [SRS], and to use this information to project the total cost of Transgender Health Benefits for the employees of large companies. This data could be used to help employers estimate what it would cost if they chose to include coverage of THBs [Transgender Health Benefits] in their employee health benefit plans…

[More below the fold.]

…Dr. Horton sent surveys to all surgeons who perform SRS and related surgeries on US residents, asking how many surgeries were performed in the year 2001, and how much they cost. Both Male to Female (MTF) and Female to Male (FTM) data were collected. An excellent response rate permitted the creation of high quality data about surgeries.

Approximately 1170 (all figures rounded) US transsexuals had their primary SRS in 2001. (Many went to other countries for their surgery, but the study was restricted to US resident patients, having the SRS in any country.) The average MTF cost was about $10,400, and the average FTM surgery (including top and, for those who had it, bottom surgery) was about $17,900. MTF surgeries outnumbered FTM surgeries 740 to 430, leading to an average combined cost for SRS of $12,900.

The annual cost per resident US resident for SRS was 5.3¢. Combined with the cost for hormones, doctor’s office visits, and therapy, the total annual cost per resident for all THBs was 17.3¢. Of this, 8¢ or more is likely to be currently covered, and with full coverage, the employee share averages 2.6¢ therefore, the added cost to an employer to cover all four transgender health benefits is projected at 6.6¢/year/resident or less.

Let’s assume that if the US Government mandated that insurance companies covered GRS (or if you prefer, SRS), and that Dr. Horton’s cost figures were now off by even a factor of 10. Even if the cost were off by a factor of 10, we would still be talking about $1.73 per United States resident per year . And put into an inflation calculator, that factor-of-10 cost of $1.73 per American per year in 2001 dollars would translate to $2.11 per American per year in 2008 dollars.

This is the kind of rational discussion material that we need to have when we discuss the cost of covering genital reconstruction surgeries. This is the kind of rational discussion that apparently Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, and the rest of the Liberty Council don’t apparently want the American public to have. Instead, they want to try to portray the United States Government’s alleged “mandating” of “sex change operations” as some sort of massive fraud, waste, and abuse. Instead, they want to stoke the fears of Americans by discussing how “Obama Tranny-Care” is going to fund “sex change operations” in the scariest and most defamatory terms possible.

Let me be blunt: Apparently, having a “rational discussion” with a conservative “Christian” — such as Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, or the rest of the Liberty Council — means “discussing” issues in the most fact free way possible. Conservative “Christians” don’t need to engage in real analysis of actual available study data; those don’t need to be referenced or addressed. And more broadly, we don’t need to come up with a solution for what to do with 47-million uninsured Americans.

I guess when Mr. LaBarbera feels uninhibited in using defamatory language against a minority group, he doesn’t have to consider the actual people he directs that kind of language at as actually being human. Let me put it this way: if Peter LaBarbera used a term like the n-word to describe African-Americans with regards to healthcare, or used the other f-word to describe gay men with regards to healthcare, how Peter LaBarbera used the term tranny in his recent description of healthcare reform would be in the same vein.

Using defamatory language is apparently what a conservative “Christian” Peter LaBarbera believes a “rational” discussion of healthcare reform, “sex change operations,” and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community includes. Call me crazy, but I don’t agree.

I said it last Wednesday (August 5, 2009) in my piece ObamaCare Is Apparently “Obama Tranny-Care,” And I’m Apparently The Poster Child Of It, and I’ll repeat it here again:

Let’s keep in mind what those who are bringing up “sex change operations” don’t really care that much about whether or not I personally get genital reconstruction surgery paid for by the government; what these folk really want to do is derail all healthcare reform — and if badmouthing trans people like me is how they believe they can derail it, then they’re going to badmouth trans people like me.

Peter is just being a tool, but what’s new.

And I’ll even add that I believe that Peter, Matt, and the Liberty Council are functionally tools of the Republican Party and insurance industry in trying to gin up social conservatives to work towards killing healthcare reform.

And hey, I’m sure that blindly working for the Republican Party and insurance industry is something that Jesus would do, don’t you think?


Further, reading:

* Roger Hedgecock at WingNutDaily: Crossroads for health insurance ‘reform’

* Matt Barber at Canada Free Press: Sex-Change-apalooza

* Audio from Concerned Women For America: Taxpayer Funded Sex-Change Operations Likely Under Obamacare:

(Interview of Matt Barber)

* The Right Perspective: Free Sex-Swap Ops Under ObamaCare Plan

* Parents And Friends Of Ex-Gays (PFOX): Will taxpayers pay for sex-change surgeries?

* Morgan County Citizen: Be Careful What You Wish For

From the less scary side of the issue:

* Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Norman: Mandatory sex change and other sides of healthcare reform

* Mercedes Allen at Bilerico: Why “Sex Change” Surgery is Medically Necessary


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