Former Transgender Teen Supports FL Proposal to Ban Medicaid Funding for Puberty Blockers, Sex Reassignment Surgery

July 11, 2022 Updated 10:23 AM ET

Chloe Cole,
Chloe Cole, "former trans kid" shares her experience with gender dysphoria.

July 11, 2022 Updated 10:15 A.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – A crowd of people spoke at a Friday hearing over a proposed rule that would ban Medicaid reimbursements for treatments including puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries.

Chloe Cole, who once identified as transgender and underwent surgery to affirm that identity, spoke at the hearing. Cole medically transitioned from ages 13 to 16.

“My parents were given a suicide threat as a reason to move me forward in my transition,” Cole said. “Despite having therapists and attending the top surgery class, I really didn’t understand all the ramifications of the medical decision.”

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has stood against minors receiving these treatments. The Florida Department of Health recommended against gender transition for minors in a rebuttal of the Biden Administration’s guidelines. 

“Florida doesn’t support the medicalization of minors with GD (gender dysphoria) because the benefits are unproven, and the risks are extraordinarily high.

Ladapo had a private meeting with Cole and posted a short video of it on social media. 

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to fully carry a child and I might be at increased risk for certain cancers,” Cole said. “Because I do not have my breasts, I don’t have breasts, I’m not able to breastfeed whatever future children I have.”

“That realization actually was one of the biggest things that leads me to realizing that this was not the path that I should have taken,” she said. 

The meeting happened after Florida Medicaid released a report that said research supporting sex reassignment treatment is “insufficient to demonstrate efficacy and safety.”

The Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration requested Florida Medicaid program review to determine whether certain gender dysphoria treatments including sex reassignment surgery, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers are consistent with widely accepted professional medical standards. 

The proposed rule changes does not ban treatments for gender dysphoria. There are other comprehensive coverage of services for gender dysphoria including psychiatric services.

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