California to provide free sex changes for illegal immigrants

A state memo regarding Medi-Cal stipulated that "gender-affirming care" is a covered benefit only "when medically necessary."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

It has been revealed that sex changes and hormone therapy will be included in the healthcare coverage offered to illegal immigrants in California. As of January 1, everyone, regardless of whether they entered the country via legal means, will qualify for Medi-Cal, the state's public health insurance program. This program had typically been reserved for low-income individuals, families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, people in foster care, pregnant women, and low-income people with diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, or HIV/AIDS.

Prior to the new rules, illegal immigrants were only able to access emergency and pregnancy-related care, however surgical and non-surgical procedures that "bring primary and secondary gender characteristics into conformity with the individual's identified gender, including ancillary services, such as hair removal" are now covered as well.

According to the Daily Caller, a state memo regarding Medi-Cal stipulated that "gender-affirming care" is a covered benefit only "when medically necessary."

Requests for gender-affirming care," it added, "should be from specialists experienced in providing culturally competent care to transgender and gender diverse individuals and should use nationally recognized guidelines."

The decision to include illegal immigrants in Medi-Cal was made in May of last year. State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo called it a "historic investment" that "speaks to California's commitment to health care as a human right."

"In California, we believe everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status," Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said in a statement to ABC News at the time. "Through this expansion, we’re making sure families and communities across California are healthier, stronger, and able to get the care they need when they need it."

The children of illegal immigrants first became eligible to receive free healthcare in the state in 2015 thanks to former governor Jerry Brown. That was expanded to those 19 to 25 years old in 2019. Now, all undocumented residents under 50 will have access to the program.

When the law was passed, officials said it would add around 700,000 people to the system.

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