From the front page of today's Daily Texan:
Members of UT’s Queer Students Alliance are working on legislation with the goal of convincing University administrators to expand health care benefits available for transgender students.Prudent use of scarce financial resources be damned:
Legislation author Devon Howard, women’s and gender studies junior, said the ultimate goal of the legislation is expanded medical services for transgender students, including hormonal treatments, gender reassignment surgeries and mental health counseling covered by the University.
UT does not offer these services because of the expenses associated with specialized medical care, according to Theresa Spalding, medical director for University Health Services. Spalding said the University does offer general medical care for all transgender students, including pap smears for students who identify as male, and said the University is committed to working with transgender students as much as possible.Because it's not like students are already being squeezed by Obamacare:
“It would be wonderful if we could provide all services to all patients, but we just don’t have the ability to do all that,” Spalding said. “Trying to be as gender neutral as possible is what we try to do.”
Currently, the insurance plan available for students to purchase, offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield, meets the minimum essential health requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Insurance coverage for one year is $1,432 per student.And anyone who points out inconvenient facts is an intolerant hater:
NOPE, no authoritarianism in that last statement!Marisa Kent, co-director of the Queer Students Alliance, said many students do not understand certain transgender students’ desire for sex-related surgeries.
“It’s not something most people can understand,” Kent said. “Nobody really understands the pain and the struggle [of] living in a body they feel like is not even their own.”
Howard said although some students may view gender reassignment surgeries as purely cosmetic, for some transgender individuals, medical intervention is a critical issue.
“A lot of people see these surgeries as something that is elective and it’s not,” Howard said. “It’s something that needs to be done for survival."
One personal thought: For this to become University policy, the Board of Regents must approve it. Bill Powers will obviously cave. If we were Wallace Hall, we'd have a field day with this one.
Former Daily Texan editor Kevin Williamson has a piece about Sandra Fluke today that could double as a commentary on this topic:
For what is she known? For standing in front of a group of legislators saying “I Want!” It is worth remembering that Miss Fluke’s “I Want!” heard ’round the world was a demand for birth-control subsidies at a Catholic institution: What’s a few thousand years of practice and the most highly developed body of moral philosophy in the Western world compared with a callow young law student’s “I Want!”? Public policy can be complicated, but “I Want!” is simple. In the world of responsible politics, there are sometimes conflicts between competing legitimate goods, and there are occasions upon which the necessities of governance run up against the limitations our constitutional order puts upon the political enterprise. Miss Fluke spoke many, many words on the subject but, defying probability, never managed to stumble upon any interesting ones. She ended where she began: “I Want!”They say that what starts at the University of Texas changes the world; sometimes, that is a frightening statement.
The genius of that battle cry is in its simplicity. Given the desultory attention the typical American pays to public affairs and the general moral illiteracy of democratic electorates, the conversion of skepticism about a specific demand originating with a specific woman or group of women into a stinging accusation of hostility toward women categorically is child’s play for a minimally competent politician. That is how defending the position favored more heavily by women than by men becomes, through the magic of feminist rhetoric, anti-woman, even part of a “war on women.”
There are certain standing openings in American public life. There is always going to be somebody in the Jesse Jackson role, the Pat Robertson role, the Warren Buffett role. And while the role of feminist-in-chief is currently occupied and probably will be at least through 2016, every sub-polity has a spot for its own Hillary Rodham Clinton, a wide-open channel for the communication of whatever it is that has feminists chanting at any given moment.