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State Rep. to try to block transgender-supportive state Medicaid policy

St. Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville)
St. Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville)
(Photo via Facebook)

SPRINGFIELD — St. Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) has told a Central Illinois TV station that he wants to block a new state Medicaid policy for gender-affirming surgeries.

Last week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new policy that would allow transgender people to use Illinois’s Medicaid program to pay for gender affirming surgery. He had told the state Department of Healthcare and Family Services to develop a policy to cover the surgeries for people with gender dysphoria.

While many in the LGBTQ community celebrated the news, others haven’t been so happy.

Bailey told WEEK-TV that he was drafting legislation to block the policy.

“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 told the TV station. “First it was the mandating of teaching LGBTQ history to our children and grandchildren and now the State is considering forcing taxpayers to pay for elective surgeries for sex changes. When will this stop?”

Bailey had also opposed the Inclusive Curriculum Bill currently in the state Senate because it didn’t give parents on “opt-out” over educating students about LGBTQ people in history.

“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'” Pritzker said last week. “With continued attacks coming from Washington, this administration will always stand with our transgender community and their right to lead safe and healthy lives.”

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