In an academic article published last year, contraception advocate Sandra Fluke made the case that private health insurers should be required to pay for sex change operations.
Fluke has become a vocal surrogate of the Democratic Party and is scheduled to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday night. On Tuesday afternoon she appeared at a Planned Parenthood “Yes We Plan” rally outside the convention venue, where condoms in anti-Republican packaging were distributed. [RELATED: Planned Parenthood distributes condoms with message: "Protect yourself from Romney & Ryan"]
She thrust herself into the media spotlight in February when she told the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee that many of her Georgetown Law School classmates were without birth control pills because the university’s insurance plan was not forced to cover it.
Fluke and co-editor Karen Hu advocated remaking U.S. law to remove what they called a “gender bias” at the root of denying coverage for “transgender medical needs,” describing it as “a prime example of direct discrimination.” [RELATED: Sandra Fluke chickening out on women’s issues debate with Breitbart’s Dana Loesch?]
“Transgender persons wishing to undergo the gender reassignment process frequently face heterosexist employer health insurance policies that label [gender-reassignment] surgery as cosmetic, or medically unnecessary and therefore uncovered,” Fluke and Hu wrote for the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.
The review article was titled “Employment Discrimination Against LGBTQ Persons” and appeared in print in 2011.
By some estimates, sex change operations can cost between $15,000 and $20,000; the cost for some procedures can be as high as $50,000. Fluke and other advocates want insurers to cover all such operations. In general, assuming the costs of new coverage mandates tends to raise rates for all enrollees in a given health-care plan.