New York City Mayor and Democrat hopeful Bill de Blasio said on Sunday that he supports a government-ran healthcare system should cover gender reassignment surgeries.
“Absolutely. We have to respect everyone’s medical needs,” de Blasio said while at the New York City Pride parade after he was questioning about the Medicare for All program, which he is a supporter of.
“If someone needs a surgery to be full and to live their life fully — the idea is a health care system that actually serves everyone to the fullest, not a health care system that rations and causes people to struggle to get just a little health care,” de Blasio said.
— Zak Hudak (@cbszak) June 30, 2019
Mayor de Blasio is the first candidate that has stated that gender reassignment surgery would be covered in the Medicare for All plan. Senator Bernie Sanders, the biggest supporter of Medicare for All, has not yet made it known how his program would handle gender reassignment surgeries.
With healthcare being covered by the federal government, this would treat gender reassignment as a medical need instead of an elective surgery.
Transgender issues were a focal point of the opening Democratic debates. Julian Castro took things as far as saying that abortions for transgender females would be included in his proposed healthcare plan.
“I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice. What that means is just because a woman or, let’s also not forget, someone in the trans community — a trans female — is poor does not mean they should not have the ability to exercise that right to choose,” said Castro, in what could have been a slip of the tongue, where he was intending to say trans males.