The mayor of Portland, Ore., would like the health plan offered to city employees to include benefits for gender reassignment.
Taking a cue from San Francisco, the first U.S. city to offer the reassignment benefits, Mayor Sam Adams says that "covering basic, medically care is a matter of fairness, and it's the right thing to do."
The American Medical Association says all transgender health care is medically necessary and coverage should not be denied by private or public insurance companies.
At least one city council commissioner agrees. "As a former nurse, I believe medical decisions should be made between the doctor [and the patient], and the insurance company shouldn't be getting in the middle of who can have what kind of procedures," said commissioner Amanda Fritz. "I think this is a step in the right direction."
While those opposed say the added benefit will cost taxpayers thousands of dollars, KGW.com reports that the additional cost each year will be $32,302 -- a mere .08% increase from the $41 million the city is already spending on its employees' health care.
Portland city commissioners will vote on the plan June 8.
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