The recent ruling by a judge in Massachusetts that taxpayers must foot the bill for Michelle Kosilek’s sex-reassignment surgery is an example of the unintended consequences of big government. While I am sympathetic to the plight of the transgendered, I question what the role of the government is to be. Michelle Kosilek is a ward of the state and as such the state is now required to provide her with medical care. I accept the testimony of the experts that such surgery is beneficial for the patient and helps her feel more comfortable in her body. I accept the fact that surgery may indeed be the best treatment available. I am not convinced however that the 8th amendment (which forbids cruel and unusual punishment) compels us to provide anything more than adequate treatment for prisoners.
Michelle Kosilek murdered her wife. I accept that her life was troubled and she had a significant weight on her shoulders, but I reject that this is an excuse to end another person’s life. The jury also rejected that line of reasoning.
This case has great visibility because of it’s salacious nature, and it’s easy to make a statement saying that a judge has gone too far. If we end our discussion there though, we have missed the greater point. It’s important to talk about what this ruling means in the context of the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA elective procedures were not supposed to be covered.
A judge in Federal Court has now ruled that sex-reassignment surgery is not elective and the government must provide this coverage, based on the obligations it has assumed. This immediately means that every person who wants reassignment surgery will be able to demand it from their insurance companies who cannot deny them anything.
It’s an unintended consequence of big government. The goal behind the ACA, of providing basic healthcare for everyone, was laudable. The architects of the law (both of whom are running for President) had good intentions. Alas neither had the foresight to realize that once government is involved in the administration of an industry, it becomes liable and responsible for all aspects. And our government is meant to be of the people, by the people and for the people. While the latter two statements have fallen by the wayside, we are still a government of the people. You and I pick up the check for everything.
And now we are on the hook for this. In addition to funding school, libraries, food pantries, the national defense, the interstate highways system, the FAA, the FDA, the FTC and the FHA, you and I are now also going to foot the bill for sex-reassignment surgery for anyone who wants it.
Government can’t prioritize. Government doesn’t have the ability to be granular. Government is a hammer that sees nothing but nails. We should recognize there is a time and a place where that power is necessary, but we should not try to use a hammer to fix the fine china. I absolutely support everyone’s right to live as they see fit but that must not being forced to pay for someone else to live as they see fit.