“This is yet another example of why people in our part of the state want to separate from Chicago,” Effingham Radio.com reports Bailey said earlier this week. “The Governor says that supporting the LGBTQ community by this publicly-funded kind of operation is the right thing to do. Well, I disagree!”
Governor Pritzker launched the policy change with an announcement last Friday. Under the governor's proposed coverage rules, Medicaid members age 21 and older diagnosed with gender dysphoria will be eligible for genital and breast-related surgeries.
“Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and I’m committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right,” said Governor Pritzker. “Expanding Medicaid to cover gender affirming surgeries is cost effective, helps avoid long term health consequences, and most importantly is the right thing to do. With continued attacks coming from Washington, this administration will always stand with our transgender community and their right to lead safe and healthy lives.”
The Department has begun developing administrative rules to offer this coverage. Input from stakeholders and the public will be considered during the public comment period. The Department anticipates coverage will become available to Medicaid members upon adoption of the administrative rule, which is likely to be this summer.
Bailey said Pritzker's proposal to spend taxpayer dollars in such a way is "morally offensive." He pointed to legislation passed in the Illinois House this session that also requires Illinois children to learn about members of the LGBTQ community in their history classes. HB 246 now awaits discussion and vote in the Illinois Senate.
“We do not need the government intruding on our private lives and at the same time we absolutely do not need government spending our tax dollars on programs that are morally offensive to most people,” Bailey said. “First it was the mandating of teaching LGBTQ history to our children and grandchildren and now it is forcing taxpayers to pay for elective surgeries for sex changes. When will this stop?”