Trans Health Equity Act Passes Md. House Of Delegates

It would provide gender-affirming treatment for those on Medicaid.

Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair

Annapolis, Md (KM) Legislation to require the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide gender-affirming treatment to low income trans-gender residents passed the House of Delegates last Saturday, and is being considered by the State Senate. “The bill simply expands access to to Medicaid much like five our of the seven insurance¬† providers already provide the gender-affirming treatment,” says Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair, one of the co-sponsors of this bill.¬† .

The measure, if passed, states that this gender-affirming treatment be provided in a non-discriminatory manner, and be assessed according to non-discriminatory criteria that are consistent with current clinical standards. Fair says surgery, if necessary, would be part of this gender-affirming treatment.

Legislation such as this has generated controversy in other states. But Fair says that’s not been the case in Maryland. “I think that a vast majority of legislators–and all the ones that certainly voted for it–will tell you that it’s a very uncontroversial bill that is made controversial purely because trans people are involved,” he said.

The vote by the House of Delegates in favor of this legislation was 93-37.

Fair says it has a good chance of passing Senate, and heading to the Governor’s desk for his signature. “I feel that the bill has been workshopped a lot in committee. It’s been thoroughly vetted on the floor. Advocates for the bill from all over the state have come to testify,” he says.

This legislation would only cover a small percentage of the population. :”It impacts a very tiny number of Marylanders, and yet has a huge impact on just trans people,” he says. “That’s why we see it’s as not a terribly controversial bill, but it certainly does drum up a lot of debate.”

Monday, March 20th, was Crossover Day in the General Assembly. where bills must be approved by one chamber, or it could face a greater challenge of passing this year.

The 2023 Maryland General Assembly adjourns for the year on Monday, April 10th at 12-midnight.

By Kevin McManus