State Representative Darren Bailey (R-Louisville), announced today that he is drafting legislation to block the taxpayer funded sex-change operations in Illinois being pushed by Gov. JB Pritzker. The move to allow Medicaid funding of such operations will be taken up under new policies being established by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS).

“This is yet another example of why people in our part of the state want to separate from Chicago,” declared Rep. Darren Bailey. “The Governor says that supporting the LGBTQ community by this publicly funded kind of operation is the right thing to do. Well, I disagree!”

Healthcare and Family Services has begun developing administrative rules to offer this coverage. Input from 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. Under the proposed coverage rules, Medicaid members age 21 and older who are diagnosed with ‘gender dysphoria’ will now be eligible for genital and breast-related surgeries.

“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 added. “First it was the mandating of teaching LGBTQ history to our children and grandchildren and now it’s forcing taxpayers to pay for elective surgeries for sex changes. When will this stop?”

The most recent data available shows that 1,400 of the state's 3.1 million Medicaid members are diagnosed with ‘gender dysphoria,’ and last year around 2,500 prescriptions for hormone therapy were covered.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2016 set rules to require access to gender transition services. However, the previous administration in Illinois did not create the policies and coverage requirements to accomplish this. The new policy will include Medicaid members in HealthChoice Illinois, the state’s managed care program, as well as those receiving their care through traditional fee-for-service.