Monday, April 15, 2013

Mandated fertility coverage

A proposed new gay rights law, California AB-460, says:
(g) Coverage for the treatment of infertility shall be offered and provided without discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.
I am trying to wrap my head around this. Suppose I am a single (unattached) man, and I complain that I cannot get pregnant. A fertility clinic says that this condition can be treated by having a surrogate mother bear the pregnancy. Will this have to be covered?

Suppose a woman cannot get pregnant because she is too old, or is in a wheelchair, or has a serious genetic illness, or used to be a man. That also has to be treated?

I suppose that gay couples think that it is unfair if opposite sex married couples get fertility treatments, and they are stuck with mismatched organs. Maybe it is unfair. But can someone please explain this remedy to me? These grand non-discrimination principles sound noble in principle, but what are the consequences here? The proposed law defines:
(b) For purposes of this section, “infertility” means either (1) the presence of a demonstrated condition recognized by a licensed physician and surgeon as a cause of infertility, or (2) the inability to conceive a pregnancy or to carry a pregnancy to a live birth after a year or more of regular sexual relations without contraception.
So if a man changes his "gender expression" or "gender identity" to female, would his lack of ovaries be a "demonstrated condition" entitle him/her to non-discrimination under this?

And what is "regular sexual relations"? I would assume that means normal male-female coitus, but then people accuse me of being a heterosexist bigot when I say stuff like that. I am guessing that a gay couple could complain that they have had regular sexual relations for a year, and no one got pregnant, so they are entitled to medical assistance.

The Weekly Standard says:
AB 460, of course, does not arise in a social vacuum. It reflects the modern tendency to use health care law to enact social policy. In the United Kingdom, for example, the National Health Service provides IVF (which in the United States typically costs between $12,000 and $15,000) to women up to age 42 free of charge, even though aging naturally reduces fertility from the late thirties on. As under AB 460, lesbians in the United Kingdom are entitled to receive a sophisticated form of artificial insemination at no cost as a means of erasing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The UK policy discriminates on sex and age, so would not comply with AB 460. We will soon have laws mandating all medical services for everyone, until the system runs out of money.

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