Gov. Tony Evers just ensured taxpayers will have to pay for some gender transition surgeries and puberty blockers in Wisconsin including, possibly, for some juveniles.
Obscured by his dramatic and deceitful actions on taxes, Evers’ partial veto relating to taxpayer-funded puberty blockers and gender transition surgeries is getting little notice.
Evers announced the veto in his budget message to the Republican-controlled Legislature.
“These sections prohibit, to the extent permitted by federal law, Medicaid payment for puberty-blocking medicine used for the of gender dysphoria or gender transition and gender-affirming surgery,” Evers wrote, saying he was vetoing the sections.
In an investigative series, Wisconsin Right Now previously reported that two major Wisconsin hospitals – UW Health and Wisconsin Children’s Hospital – admit they are giving puberty blockers (which can cause sterility) and performing mastectomies on minors. We also documented how Medicaid and the State of Wisconsin Standard Benefit plan pay out claims for these procedures, according to an email Children’s Wisconsin Hospital sent a legislator.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos wrote in a statement, “The state’s Medicaid program should not be funding transgender surgeries and gender-affirming care. The Governor’s veto allowing this practice to continue takes money away from low-income families who truly need Medicaid dollars for important healthcare visits and procedures.”
State Rep. Barbara Dittrich blasted the veto. “Unfortunately, Gov. Evers revealed himself to be dishonest in his negotiations with his line-item vetoes of our budget. He wasted more of Wisconsinites’ hard-earned dollars by finding ways to restore funding of gender transition surgery via Medicaid,” she wrote.
“I am vetoing these sections because I object to perpetuating hateful, discriminatory, and anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric, including those targeted at the transgender and gender nonconforming community,” Evers wrote. “Gender-affirming care for transgender and gender nonconforming people with gender dysphoria is recognized as the standard treatment by most major medical associations. Reducing access to gender-affirming care would only magnify the inequities in health outcomes already faced by the LGBTQ community. I support LGBTQ Wisconsinites and will continue to do everything in my power to protect their rights and keep them safe.”
Wisconsin Right Now had already submitted a pending open records request several weeks ago to determine the amount of taxpayer money spent on gender treatments, especially for minors.