I attended the Washington state Health Care Authority hearing regarding WSR 18-20-123 which relates to coverage for gender affirming care provided by Washington state Apple Health. I felt so privileged to be able to be present and hear so many community members advocate for our gender diverse population. Individual trans and non-binary people bravely sharing their stories, lawyers with tomes of literature and threatening litigation, and advocates and warriors from many non-profits committed to improving the lives and access to care for gender diverse people all impressed at the public hearing. While I had reviewed the proposed changes, I had not planned on sharing at the hearing myself. I was not even really sure how one works or what happens. However, no other physicians spoke, and I felt sharing my voice and advocacy as a queer, non-binary physician who provides gender affirming care could be important. Here is the letter which contains a formalized version of my statement which I submitted to the HCA:
Advocacy is important. Healthcare access is important. Trans people deserve healthcare. Non-binary people deserve healthcare. Intersex people deserve healthcare. Queer people deserve healthcare. I look forward to the Washington state Health Care Authority’s response.