Berserkey in Berkeley: City Council proposes to add sex change option to city employee healthcare coverage

Feel like having a sex change but don’t want to pay for it? If you move to Berkeley and become employeed by the city, you may not have to (emphasis added):

[…] The proposal is modeled after a similar benefit in effect in San Francisco since 2001. The council directed the city manager to create a feasibility study before the measure comes back to the council in six months for consideration.

Councilman Darryl Moore co-sponsored the resolution with Councilmember Kriss Worthington. Moore predicted only a handful of city workers will apply for the benefit.

“When they established the policy in San Francisco, there were dire predictions that people would move to the city in droves to take advantage of it,” he said. “It never happened, and it won’t happen here, either.”

What a sound argument in favor! Not. If people had been flocking to SF to have the surgery done, Moore would have just turned the argument around and said something along the lines of “Just goes to show you how many people in this state need help for their ‘medical condition’ and it’s unfair that we don’t offer similar coverage here to the ‘suffering.'”

Former city council candidate Merrilee Mitchell opposed the proposal, likening the surgery to elective cosmetic procedures. But another former council candidate, George Beier, disagreed.

“It’s not like getting a nose job or losing 40 pounds,” he said.

“It’s like your sexuality – it goes to the essence of who you are.”

Moore introduced the proposal at the suggestion of a transsexual city worker, Lynn Riordan, who had the surgery in 2003. It cost $11,000, which she paid out of her own pocket.

“I won’t benefit from this policy myself, but it’s important to have it for the younger people,” said Riordan, 49. “They might not have $11,000 to spend. And if you’re going to do it, the sooner the better so you won’t have all those hormones to deal with.”

So are they planning to use this as some type of recruitment tool? “Come to Berkeley and work for us, and you can get a sex change on the city’s dime”?

What’s worse is that Riordan actually believes that sex change surgery should be considered no different from heart or gall bladder surgery:

Noting that the city’s health care providers, Kaiser Permanente and Health Net of California, cover heart surgery and gallbladder surgery, Riordan couldn’t understand why sex change surgery should be treated any differently.

“They have these exclusions specifically for transgender surgery being covered, and it’s just not fair,” Riordan said. “This is not about choice, it’s a birth defect. It’s just to alleviate suffering for some people, and, well, that’s a noble thing.”

You just cannot make this stuff up. 8-}

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