Sen. Bernie Sanders has declared that sex reassignment surgeries for transgender people would be covered by taxpayers in his planned government-run health-care system.
In an undated section of Sanders’ campaign website, the Democratic presidential candidate says his plan would “ensure LGBTQ+ people have comprehensive health care without discrimination from providers,” including for “gender affirming surgeries.”
“Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All would not only confront the massive health disparities faced by the LGBTQ+ community, it would also cover gender affirming surgeries, increase access to PrEP, remove barriers to mental health care and bolster suicide prevention efforts,” the site reads.
PrEP refers to pre-exposure prophylaxis, daily medication to prevent HIV infection.
“Incredibly, it is still legal to deny someone housing or service in the military for being transgender,” the section continues. “That is unacceptable and must change.”
Sanders, a Vermont Independent, narrowly won the first two primary contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, over Pete Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Sanders’ Medicare for all would cover sex-change operations
Sanders has promoted a number of tax-and-spend policies, including forgiveness of college debt, expansion of Social Security and the New Green Deal.
His pledge to pay for sex reassignment operations mirrors a policy proposal announced last month by Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who is also running for the Democratic nomination.
Bloomberg said he would expand the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to ensure coverage for “medically-necessary gender-affirming care (e.g., gender-affirming surgery and hormone therapy).”
“I have been honored to stand with the LGBTQ+ community in the fight for equality and justice, from New York, where we won marriage equality in 2011, to states across the country. That fight – true to our nation’s highest ideals – has achieved historic progress, but we still have a long way to go,” Bloomberg said in a statement.