The Instigator
SufferRepression
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
whiteflame
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Should sex changes be covered by Health Insurance?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
whiteflame
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 731 times Debate No: 49217
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

SufferRepression

Con

Should sex changes be covered by health insurance? I don't think so. Apparently, this opponent that I have invited does.

Before I present arguments, I am very (not) sensitive. I am offended. Easily. So, please, I seek a friendly debate.

Emergency vs. Desire

Say, you wanted to change your sex. You ccan have health insurance cover it for you. You have to sign on something. After that, they HAVE (And I exaggerate) to deliver the money. However, it isn't even an emergency. It's a waste of money.

This next one follows from the 1st.

Financial Expense

Sex change is a very costly procedure[1]. It ranges from the $7000-$50,000 marks or more. And like said, it's a waste of money, seeing as it isn't even an emergency but, when signed, has to be covered my health insurance.

Alright. I await my opponent's set of arguments. Though, my 1st argument branches out from all.

Sources:

[1] http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com...
whiteflame

Pro

Alright, I'd like to start by thanking my opponent, SufferRepression, for inviting me to debate this topic. I'm normally pretty thick-skinned myself, but as you can probably see from my past debates, I am not prone to personal attacks or being offensive in my debates. I will endeavor to show you the same courtesies that I would expect.

I think that the first thing we have to establish before we get into this debate is an overview of why we're having it in the first place. In order to do that, we have to define some terms.

Gender (or sex) reassignment surgery (GRS): "a term for the surgical procedures by which a person's physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that of the other sex. It is part of a treatment for gender identity disorder/gender dysphoria in transsexual and transgender people."[1]

Gender identity disorder (GID): "a formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe people who experience significant dysphoria (discontent) with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex."[2]

Health insurance: "a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insured."[3]

But none of these terms are that simple, especially not health insurance. Since this is a debate about whether or not something will be covered, we first have to define what is and is not considered to be worth covering. We can say pretty definitively what belongs on the list and off the list in many cases. Someone who develops a terrible illness that requires immediate and extended treatment is very likely to be on that list (even if health insurers try to keep them off). Meanwhile, someone who wants to increase the size of a particular part of their anatomy in order to court the opposite sex is probably off of that list.

However, we're really only interested in things that are similar to this situation. Someone with GID is not akin to someone getting breast implants. GID is a mental concern, and therefore when we make comparisons to similar situations, we must address the mental component. So which ones are covered? Well, we've got a long list that are now legally required to be covered: major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, anorexia, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism or pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and children's severe emotional disturbances.

The point in mentioning this is that it showcases our society's concern with mental illness. GID is a similarly damaging mental disorder, and unlike with these other disorders, there is only one treatment that is effective: GRS. This has been established by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, or WPATH.[4] And they're not alone in reaching this conclusion. The American Medical Association has advocated its necessity and its coverage.[5] So has the American Psychiatric Association.[6]

Why do they feel that way? Two reasons. The first is because it's absolutely integral to their being. Evidence suggests that those who suffer from GID may do so as a result of psychological, behavioral, and biological characteristics, with even the makeup of their brains and hormones being implicated.[7, 8, 9] As such, these people often have limited or no control over the gender they identify with, something that is rarely erased by any change in perception or therapy.

The second reason is because nothing else works. Electroshock therapy, anti-psychotic drugs, and conversion therapy have all been tried, but modern medicine has established that they don't work.[10] Moreover, they see the problem presented by removing their access to treatment. GID restricts their ability to function emotionally, physically, spiritually, economically, probably sexually, and can easily lead to committing suicide.[7] These alternative interventions usually result in suppression, suicide, substance abuse, or extreme anti-social behaviors.[11, 12]

Why this treatment? Because aligning body and mind is essential for many of them to feel valued and successful in society. This affects their ability to feel any sense of belonging in society, their capacity to engage in meaningful relationships, their esteem, and completely removes any possibility that they could ever self-actualize.[13] Their capacity to reach their full potential is completely removed when they simply don't have the funds to afford this surgery.

But it goes beyond just the emotional issues. The reality is that they cannot even set their gender as having changed without getting the surgery, which means there's no way that they can get legal recognition as the gender they identify with unless they get GRS. So they're not just required to live their lives in a body that doesn't represent them, but they live in a country that isn't willing to represent them legally as their actual gender identity. On many levels " medical, legal, and social " that gender identity matters a lot. In hospitals, gyms, prisons, spas, and even in their everyday clothes shopping, their identity affects how they're treated and who they are placed with. In some of these cases, it even creates potentially risky situations so long as they aren't permanently isolated, especially in the case of prisons, where they face actual violence upon discovery. Literally no other "cosmetic" issue so completely affects a person's rights and safety.

This loss of human life, of human dignity and rights, of basic sanity and self-identity, should not have to be suffered for decades solely because someone suffering from GID cannot afford the cost.

I'll leave out direct rebuttal for this round, and provide my opponent the opportunity to respond directly to me before I respond to him. With that, I leave it to Con to move into R2.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.investopedia.com...
4. http://www.wpath.org...
5. http://www.gires.org.uk...
6. http://www.apa.org...
7. http://doctorsonly.co.il...
8. http://www.sciencedaily.com...
9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
10. http://books.google.com...
11. http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org...
12. http://www.averyjenkins.com...
13. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
SufferRepression

Con

Rebuttals

Before this, I did research on Gender Identity Disorder (Discontent). At first, I interpreted it as an illness. Almost conceded. However, it's not. Those are people who are homosexual.

"Someone with GID is not akin to someone getting breast implants."

Sometimes, yes. Breast implants sometimes are reserved for some other situation. However, that's not what I'm restricting. In fact, I'm not restricting sex change. Health insurance just shouldn't cover sex change for you. You can spend your own money for this. There's a difference. However, sometimes, it is for sex change. Like said, sex changes modifies your body to resemble that of the other sex. So sometimes, it is related.

"The point in mentioning this is that it showcases our society's concern with mental illness. GID is a similarly damaging mental disorder, and unlike with these other disorders, there is only one treatment that is effective: GRS."

GID, I admit, is a mental disorder. It influences you by becoming homosexual. So, GRS is effective since you now belong to your desired gender, thus being content. However, other mental disorders require treatment because they affect people organically. Food disorders can cause anorexia sometimes (Very thin)(Lack of nourishment/food)(Since food disorders can sometimes influence you by not eating enough). This, doesn't. It doesn't make you less healthy. It doesn't damage, really. It's alright to be homosexual.

"And they're not alone in reaching this conclusion. The American Medical Association has advocated its necessity and its coverage.[5] So has the American Psychiatric Association.[6]"

Other people do in fact support. However, this is fallacious. The "Appeal to Popularity fallacy" is now introduced. It is a fallacy where if most people advocate a belief, it must be true. Just because most believe in it, doesn't imply that it's true.

"Why do they feel that way? Two reasons. The first is because it's absolutely integral to their being. Evidence suggests that those who suffer from GID may do so as a result of psychological, behavioral, and biological characteristics, with even the makeup of their brains and hormones being implicated.[7, 8, 9] As such, these people often have limited or no control over the gender they identify with, something that is rarely erased by any change in perception or therapy."

Being homosexual is completely alright.

Of course, people are discontent with the biological characteristics of their gender. They try re-enacting the opposite sex. They can't really control that. But, like said, being homosexual is completely alright. These brains are then impressed.

"The second reason is because nothing else works. Electroshock therapy, anti-psychotic drugs, and conversion therapy have all been tried, but modern medicine has established that they don't work.[10] Moreover, they see the problem presented by removing their access to treatment. GID restricts their ability to function emotionally, physically, spiritually, economically, probably sexually, and can easily lead to committing suicide.[7] These alternative interventions usually result in suppression, suicide, substance abuse, or extreme anti-social behaviors.[11, 12]"

If I disagree with health insurance covering sex change, then I surely will disagree with the other methods.

"Why this treatment? Because aligning body and mind is essential for many of them to feel valued and successful in society. This affects their ability to feel any sense of belonging in society, their capacity to engage in meaningful relationships, their esteem, and completely removes any possibility that they could ever self-actualize.[13] Their capacity to reach their full potential is completely removed when they simply don't have the funds to afford this surgery."

That's why all our homosexuality advocates are useful; They make them feel they belong in society. That they can engage in any relationship, etc. We know they do belong. And if they are going to ignore logic, and be completely emotional, then there's no one else but them to blame.

"But it goes beyond just the emotional issues. The reality is that they cannot even set their gender as having changed without getting the surgery, which means there's no way that they can get legal recognition as the gender they identify with unless they get GRS."

I may have misinterpreted this, but, LEGAL recognition? Homosexuality is currently legal. So, they will be recognized legally. You will always identify a homosexual man as male. However, so? Like said, it's alright to be homosexual. And of course, they will be. They just try to re-enact the opposite sex.

I await my opponent's next set of arguments.

NO SOURCES CITED; NONE NEEDED.
whiteflame

Pro

Quick thanks to my opponent for engaging in my argument so thoroughly (albeit somewhat disturbingly) and with that, I'll launch into it.

"Before this, I did research on Gender Identity Disorder (Discontent). At first, I interpreted it as an illness. Almost conceded. However, it's not. Those are people who are homosexual."

This is just utterly baffling. Multiple responses.

1) "Gender identity disorder (GID) or transsexualism is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex. People with GID desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress and use mannerisms associated with the other gender. For instance, a person identified as a boy may feel and act like a girl. This is distinct from homosexuality in that homosexuals nearly always identify with their apparent sex or gender."[1]
2) Defining with this broad brush is just beyond absurd, and it doesn't take into account a lot of individual cases. This letter to the editor, for example, showcases a post-op male to female transsexual woman who is married to a woman.[2] That is not homosexuality. This person started out as a man, which means that they were attracted to someone of the opposite sex.
3) More importantly, I'm really just not sure what he means by this statement. So a person who is not comfortable in their own skin is somehow always going to be homosexual, simply because they have biological signals that tell them that they are a woman, and yet bear the external features of a man? Con has provided no support for this. A person in this situation could simply be asexual, it doesn't matter whether they want to have sex at all. So whether they're homosexual or heterosexual has no bearing on this debate.
4) Part of what he's saying here, though, is that homosexuality always involves one person who has biological signals telling them that they are the opposite sex. This is pretty slanderous to the entire homosexual community as well. So now, two men cannot love one another unless one of them has the gender identity of a woman? Two women cannot love one another unless one of them has the gender identity of a man? That seems incredibly presumptive on Con's part.
5) Even if they were homosexual, why is that a reason to deny coverage? I've given plenty of support for why these people experience egregious harms as a result of their plight. Why does their homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter) deny them access to care?

"I'm not restricting sex change."

So, some people cannot afford the thousands of dollars required to get this treatment. By denying them access to the money necessary to acquire it, yes, you are restricting GRS. That's like saying that you wouldn't be denying someone access to antibiotics if you stopped covering them " you're effectively denying access to those with fewer means in this country. Extend all my arguments about how this is the sole treatment that will actually have a chance at fully dealing with GID, and all my arguments about how onerous GID is to those who suffer it. Con would have voters believe that he's not restricting the procedure after stating that he wants to keep it just out of reach for many Americans.

"GID, I admit, is a mental disorder. It influences you by becoming homosexual."

Wow. First off, I think my definition of GID most certainly denies this, since, again, it has nothing to do with sexual preference in a mate. Second, I provided a number of outcomes that go well beyond anorexia that my opponent has completely ignored, like suicide, substance abuse, and the behaviors associated with depression. He started off this debate by talking about health insurance funding emergency care versus medical choice, but I've shown that insurers are concerned with other very significant mental harms. Con ignores these points. Extend my points about how this can very easily turn into an emergency situation, as these people are highly likely to attempt suicide (my [7]), and to face violence as a result of their legal and social perception. I'd say these do suffice as emergencies.

Third, this implies that being homosexual is a mental disorder. I'll give Con a chance to explain what he meant by this before I respond, mainly because it appears that he doesn't have a problem with homosexuality, despite his phrasing.

"The "Appeal to Popularity fallacy" is now introduced."

Actually, if you were going to characterize this correctly, it would be an "Appeal to Authority," since
WPATH, the APA, and the AMA are all authorities in this area, and since the majority of people in general still tend to be against coverage for GRS, as you are. However, this isn't a strong response. Why are these sources terrible? In fact, the two sources I provided for the APA and AMA specifically spell out why they feel it is necessary for health insurance to cover GRS. So no, I'm not just appealing to them " I'm providing the specific reasons why they have taken this stance. As neither you nor myself are either physicians, psychiatrists, or doctors of any sort, their analysis is probably going to be better than what either of us could feasibly produce. If you'd like to explain how they're wrong, please, go right ahead. Just throwing out the word "fallacy" doesn't make them fallacious.

"Of course, people are discontent with the biological characteristics of their gender. They try re-enacting the opposite sex. They can't really control that. But, like said, being homosexual is completely alright. These brains are then impressed."

Again, Con is completely misunderstanding what GID is. No, homosexuals are not trying to "re-enact the opposite sex." They're mostly comfortable with their sex. Their gender matches their sex, though they are as attracted to someone of the same sex. Those with GID are not comfortable with their sex. Their gender is at odds with that sex. And their attractions are irrelevant " they play no role in GID whatsoever.

"If I disagree with health insurance covering sex change, then I surely will disagree with the other methods."

Good, glad we agree that these are terrible methods. Except that you're the only one who's seeking to deny access to the one effective treatment.

"That's why all our homosexuality advocates are useful; They make them feel they belong in society."

...I've already responded to this pretty thoroughly, but let me make it clear what these advocates will do for those with GID. They will tell them that their sexual preference is perfectly natural, and that there's nothing wrong with their choice of partners. And then the person with GID will stare blankly at them, leave, and not be helped in the slightest. What you're missing here is that these people don't feel that they belong in society because of how they perceive themselves, not because of who they're attracted to. They cannot engage in relationships because they feel disconnected from their own sexual characteristics, so much so that it pains them just to exist in their bodies. If someone tells them that they can form whatever relationships they want and still be happy, that doesn't solve the inherent problem. I've already shown that therapy of any sort is ineffective. Would you mind explaining how these advocates would be?

"I may have misinterpreted this, but, LEGAL recognition? Homosexuality is currently legal."

Again, missing the point. Homosexuality is legal (though there are some issues with recognizing their relationships), but what I'm talking about is recognizing a gender instead of a sex. Those with GID who don't go through GRS cannot get legal recognition for being the gender they are. Instead, the legal structure continues to pound into them that they are of a certain sex. Being of that sex puts them in troubling, confusing, and even dangerous situations. If you would like to counter that any of the situations I've outlined in my R1 post are not accurate, then do so. As it stands now, you're arguing an issue that has nothing to do with GID.

Some quick points on Con's R1 argument about finances:

1) This is never impacted. Con never states what harm it does to the general population to have these surgeries covered at this cost, nor does he state any harm to health insurance companies or governments

2) Con is essentially stating a cost without realizing that a cost exists no matter what. If these patients don't get this surgery, they will instead have their health insurance companies afford them anti-depressants and psychiatric therapy, at the very least. Getting these for the rest of your life isn't cheap. Neither is the loss of work hours that result from them, nor the loss of productivity. That means that their contribution to our economy goes down and stays down. Worse still, since many of these people commit suicide, their entire contribution to society is completely lost. That's not to mention the funerary costs involved in this.

3) This entire argument seems very superficial. I see no reason to prefer increased finances over the lives and well-being of these people. I'll repeat what I said at the end of my last post: this loss of human life, of human dignity and rights, of basic sanity and self-identity, should not have to be suffered for decades solely because someone suffering from GID cannot afford the cost.

Lastly, just want to point this out, but you do need sources, especially for the claim that GID and homosexuality are one in the same. So long as Con does not do this, he cannot win this point.

With that, I kick it back to Con to continue the debate.

1. http://www.psychologytoday.com...
2. http://www.stabroeknews.com...
Debate Round No. 2
SufferRepression

Con

SufferRepression forfeited this round.
whiteflame

Pro

Well, my opponent has forfeited, and as he hasn't been online in the last 5 days, I imagine that this debate is going to end in yet another forfeit. I hope that he surprises me, but it seems that his willingness to engage in this debate has flagged, though that might be the result of something else that demands his attention. I have nothing else to add to this debate, so I'll leave it to him to extend upon it, if he does indeed return.
Debate Round No. 3
SufferRepression

Con

SufferRepression forfeited this round.
whiteflame

Pro

Well, he's still gone. I've said all I needed to say. Con's arguments are nonsensical and somewhat derogatory. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Yeah, he wanted to have at as well. Hopefully he'll post for the next round.
Posted by vekoma123 2 years ago
vekoma123
Kind of interesting how this debate got brought up, considering I debated whiteflame on the exact same issue recently.

However, I am definitely open to seeing if there are any arguments that come up here that were not addressed in the last one.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
I'll post on this at some point later today.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by GodChoosesLife 2 years ago
GodChoosesLife
SufferRepressionwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
SufferRepressionwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. I'm also confused as to why con would argue points already, close to being refuted by pro's other debate (referenced).
Vote Placed by TheLastMan 2 years ago
TheLastMan
SufferRepressionwhiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF