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Gender Affirming Care Act on Governor Ige’s Desk

Kua῾ana Project Manager Maddalynn Sesepasara and Grants & Advancement Manager Nikos Leverenz co-authored an opinion-editorial that appeared in Civil Beat on May 16, “Ige Has Chance to Advance Equity for Hawaii’s LGBTQ+ Community.” Here’s an excerpt:

Among the beneficial pieces of legislation now before Gov. David Ige are [bills] that would benefit Hawaii’s sexual and gender minorities, or SGMs. Each represents an opportunity to reduce persistent structural barriers that negatively impact the well-being of those already subject to disproportionate challenges to their physical and mental health.

House Bill 2405, the Gender Affirming Treatment Act, would prohibit insurance providers from discriminating against transgender patients through limitations on the provision of gender-affirming treatments and surgeries. Insurers can unilaterally determine whether a procedure is “medically necessary” or “cosmetic,” regardless of an individual patient’s needs.

This posture unfortunately continues a long history of American medical providers shortchanging the care and treatment of trans persons. Colorado and Washington currently require that gender-affirming care be covered by private insurance.

Click here to let Governor Ige know that you support passage of HB 2405. Even a simple statement like “Please sign HB 2405 into law” will suffice.

Other SGM bills now on Gov. Ige’s desk include SB 2670, which establishes a statewide LGBTQ+ Commission and SB 2136, prohibiting a person’s exclusion from a jury on the basis of gender identity or expression.

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