(PresidentialWire.com)- When reviewing unearthed emails between a pediatrician and Rachel Levine, now the assistant secretary for health in the Biden administration, it becomes clear that Levine discussed the potential revenue that could be drummed up by a social worker who would advocate for child gender-affirming surgery.
According to emails between Dr. Rollyn Ornstein and Dr. Levine in 2018, intercepted by parental rights activist Megan Brock, Levine believed a social worker for the hospital’s gender clinic would produce enough revenue to make paying for the position worth it, noting that despite age limitations for gender-affirming surgeries, child patients would eventually turn 18 and be eligible for further interventions.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the National Association of Social Workers released a report in 2021 stating that social workers in pediatric gender clinics can act as surgery advocates by producing letters on behalf of minors seeking gender change procedures that insurance companies don’t readily insure.
Levine advised that Ornstein contacted a specific individual and observed that the work would still be financially feasible even if surgical advice were limited to just mastectomies for adolescents.
The hospital could afford to hire a social worker, according to Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Levine, who also noted that the social worker’s consultations with minors would be limited to “FtM [female to male] top surgeries,” code for mastectomies, due to legal age restrictions for gender surgery. Mastectomies are more common among teenage females than other forms of gender-related surgery.
Ornstein argued that the social worker’s time and energy would be better spent once the children reached 18 if there were limits on the kind of gender transition surgery they may have as minors.
The National Association of Social Workers states that social workers have many roles in transgender rights advocacy. Insuring coverage for intersex medical treatments is one way to do this.
Because of the potential financial benefits, Johns Hopkins Medicine has requested that Maryland include transgender cosmetic operations in Medicaid coverage. Since at least 2017, plastic surgeons have been lobbying for more inclusive insurance coverage of transgender procedures and fighting against attempts to outlaw modifications to minors.
Levine also assisted the LGBT community in blocking legislation that would have barred government funding from being utilized to aid with the price of a child’s transition.