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Attorneys general support Florida ban on Medicaid payments for gender transition procedures

Amicus brief argues plaintiffs are at odds with four European countries whose healthcare authorities called for curtailing the availability of transitioning treatments for minors.

Published: April 22, 2023 11:15pm

(The Center Square) -

Seventeen attorneys general have filed an amicus brief supporting a Florida regulation that denies Medicaid coverage for gender transitioning procedures.

The states are supporting Florida's motion for summary judgment in August Dekker v. Jason Weida, a lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida Tallahassee Division.

In the case, transgender plaintiffs are suing Weida, the secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is leading the coalition, which also includes the attorneys general of Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The brief argues that the medical interest groups in the case that have promulgated guidelines or treatment statements are advocates for transitioning treatments and that they suppress dissent.

"These groups do not represent 'medical opinion,' just an outspoken slice of it," the brief said.

The brief said that the groups are at odds with four European countries whose healthcare authorities assessed transitioning treatments and called for curtailing the availability of transitioning treatments for minors. Those countries are the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

"Based on the evidence reviews they conducted (or are conducting), healthcare authorities in these countries have called for curtailing the availability of transitioning treatments for minors," the brief said. "As the council responsible for the assessment of public healthcare services in Finland put it, 'In light of available evidence, gender reassignment of minors is an experimental practice.' Florida's like conclusion was reasonable."

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a news release that states have the right to regulate medicine and determine appropriate treatments for Medicaid coverage.

"Our tax dollars should not be spent on life-altering and damaging experimental medical treatments," Landry said. "Florida's comprehensive review does not support the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and reassignment surgeries as safe and effective treatments for gender dysphoria; and the Sunshine State should be allowed to follow the science."

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