WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York) filed a bill that would ban the use of Medicaid funding for conversion therapy on Thursday.
According to NBC OUT, the bill would crack down on misleading billing tactics to stop funding. The bill is called the “Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act.”
From NBC OUT:
“Conversion practices are discredited, harmful, and not therapy,” Maloney said. “Fundamentally, conversion tactics are based on the idea that a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation are diseases to be cured — they have no legitimate medical application and should not be used anywhere. Until we can just ban conversion therapy all together, we must ensure taxpayer dollars aren’t funding a fraudulent practice that has been roundly discredited by the medical community. That’s exactly what my bill would do.”
According to a press release from Maloney’s office, “States currently decide which services Medicaid can cover and most have failed to ban the use of funding for conversion ‘therapy,’ Because CMS codes do not mention the model of therapy being applied, even illegitimate practices can be performed and billed.” CMS codes are used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to process medical bills, including those for mental health care.
Maloney is gay and a chair of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus. NBC OUT said there were 63 co-sponsors for the bill.