A Republican state senator in Florida has introduced a bill that would require businesses that cover gender-affirming care to also cover the costs of someone who chooses to de-transition. Companies who pay for employees to travel to other states to receive gender-affirming care would also be required to cover de-transition procedures.
The bill would leave companies on the hook to cover de-transition care even if someone no longer works there.
Calling it the “Reverse Woke Act,” state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R) said the bill protects people from being “used as political pawns to advance a leftist agenda for the Governor of California.” Ingoglia was likely referring to how California Gov. Gavin Newson (D) signed a bill in September that made the state a sanctuary for families seeking gender-affirming care for trans youth.
“Woke businesses need to be held accountable when offering to pay for gender-affirming surgeries in other states, such as California,” Ingoglia said, “because they are nothing more than political decisions masquerading as healthcare and human resource decisions.”
Trans activist Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, wrote on Twitter that the bill is “a blatant attempt to eliminate ALL coverage of gender-affirming care.”
“Coverage for detransition under a broader gender dysphoria diagnosis isn’t inherently bad and I think should be covered,” Caraballo continued. “The problem is that they are making this a massive unquantifiable liability for employers and insurance companies because the liability risk is not knowable.”
“This could require a company to cover detransition care 30 years later or face civil legal liability for the cost of care. The indefinite coverage liability is undefinable. Rather than comply, companies will simply drop coverage.”
Caraballo called it a “troll bill” designed to encourage companies to stop covering gender-affirming care. She added, “It’s absolutely disgusting how bastardized the word ‘woke’ has become that it now literally means being trans. This is such a disgraceful misappropriation of this word from African Americans who used it for over a century to describe awareness of systemic racism.”
Trans activist Erin Reed said the bill’s provision “lack precedent in law.”
“If an individual undergoes a surgical procedure, such as a knee operation, and later regrets it or desires to modify it, no employer is liable for it a decade later simply because the company’s health insurance covered the surgery,” Reed wrote, adding that it might also conflict with a federal law that limits the role states can play in private health plans.
“It is also important to note that targeting gender-affirming care financially is a new front for the anti-trans right, and it is being embraced by leading anti-trans candidates and politicians. “
Amidst all of this is also the fact that the number of people who de-transition is very small. Of those who transition, about eight percent report de-transitioning, according to a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality, and most – 62 percent – of that eight percent said de-transition was temporary. The most common reason for de-transitioning was parental pressure – not regret.
Another study found that 97% of those who transition do not regret it. And in 2022, a study out of the Netherlands found that an overwhelming majority of trans people who begin gender-affirming medical treatments as teenagers continue those treatments as young adults.
The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all rejected claims that gender-affirming care is harmful to transgender children or adults.
Despite all of this, the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine recently voted to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth.
If the “Reverse Woke Act” passes, it could become just as difficult to obtain for adults.