Biden’s appointee for Veterans Affairs Secretary has something to say about benefits soon to be received by anyone in the military that is Trans.
The appointee’s name is Denis McDonough. He used the occasion of a Pride event in Orlando to make an announcement about a new kind of medical benefit to be covered in Biden’s iteration of the VA.
The new name for the procedure that will be offered is ‘gender confirmation’ … our readers may be more familiar with the old name of that surgery, ‘gender reassignment’.
I had the honor today of meeting VA Secretary Denis McDonough. I was at the Orlando VA pride event when he announced that the VA would begin covering gender confirmation surgery at the VA! Historic moment. pic.twitter.com/0XVhjRMmjd
— Lynn Brownfield (@GhostWolf1964) June 19, 2021
To say there are mixed opinions on this kind of surgery being a valid medical treatment is an understatement, for both philosophical reasons and financial considerations.
Philosophical objections to offering gender surgery
ClashDaily covered a story in 2017 where the same medical experts who had pioneered and championed the surgery a few decades ago had officially discontinued the practice because changing the patient’s physiology to align with their view of themselves did not significantly resolve the mental health issues of patients who underwent the surgery.
Instead, the suicide rate jumped to 20 times that of their peers. DEAR BRUCE: This ACCLAIMED Psychiatrist Just Called BS On Your Transgenderism
Since our military already has some alarming suicide statistics, maybe we should ask them to pump the brakes and go on record with an official explanation for the rationale of why we think it is a good idea for Uncle Sam to fund something that could realistically bump those harrowing suicide figures even higher.
Do we not owe it to the transgender people who might be wrestling with these consequences to NOT charge blindly into that question?
Financial objections to offering gender surgery
There is another real question. Does this added expense belong in the budget? After all, it is a prohibitively expensive surgery that is explicitly excluded from coverage by many insurance companies as ‘cosmetic’ in nature.
Will offering this ‘perk’ incentivize people who have no real interest in serving in the military to join for a little while just so they can bill Uncle Sam for surgery they could never afford to pay for themselves?
And the bigger question financially, while some rival nations rattle their sabers in the distance, what effect, if any will this have on the total budget and combat readiness?
A related secondary question — will this big-budget line item squeeze out more ordinary medical care in a program that has already faced crises and cash crunches in recent years?
We’re already seeing valuable military dollars being diverted from standard combat readiness training into the various Critical Race Theory compliant ideological and anti-racist training.
Only a few months into the current administration and we have already seen that the military is the ONLY major area of spending that has NOT received a boost, and is unlikely to keep pace with inflation. What’s more, they are ‘already diverting funds to non-corps activities’. BIDEN PRIORITIES: Guess Which ONE Gov’t Department Does NOT Get A Bigger Budget?
Like most any other promise the government gives, this one comes with a price tag:
The cost was of the program unclear, but Terrence Hayes, VA spokesman, told The Washington Post that they expect fewer than 4,000 people to take up the offer.
VA statistics estimate that there are a total of 134,000 transgender veterans, although it is unclear whether they have already gone gender confirmation surgery, or have decided not to do so.
The cost of medical treatments can add up to more than $100,000, Insider reported in 2019. Fees for the surgery are often not covered by insurance companies, which consider the procedures cosmetic. Many trans people say having a body that matches the gender they identify as is crucial to their mental health and wellbeing.
The move is just the first step in what’s likely to be a years-long federal rulemaking process to expand VA health benefits to cover the surgery, but McDonough said the VA will use the time to ‘develop capacity to meet the surgical needs’ of transgender veterans. —DailyMail
In light of the fact that funding and training is explicitly listed among the causes of two ship crashes that killed 17 sailors, the correct use of finite military funding resources is not an insignificant question.
“The collisions were avoidable,” Adm. John M. Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said in a summary of the reports, released by the Navy on Wednesday morning.
The release of the reports came a day after the Navy held closed-door briefings for lawmakers on Capitol Hill and sent officers crisscrossing the country to brief family members of the sailors killed. A broader review of the Seventh Fleet’s pace of operations, training, equipment and maintenance is to be released on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, pointed to the automatic budget cuts on the Pentagon since 2013, known as sequestration, as one of the primary culprits behind the combined 17 deaths aboard the two destroyers.
“We’ve deprived them of the funds to do it,” Mr. McCain said of the continuous operations in the Pacific. “We’re putting those men and women in harm’s way to be wounded or killed because we refuse to give them the sufficient training and equipment and readiness. It’s a failure of Congress. It’s on us.” —NYTimes
We would not be surprised if the debate about whether these surgeries are a justified expense for Uncle Sam to take on to continue for a long time to come.