Insurance companyÂ refused to pay for Texas woman’sÂ medically necessary procedure.
A transgender woman in Texas is suing Aetna for alleged anti-trans discrimination, based on the insurance company’s refusal to cover a procedure that her doctors deemed medically necessary.Â
It marks the second complaint this year alleging anti-trans discrimination by Aetna. Nevertheless, the company received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, released last week.Â
Charlize Baker, who lives in the Dallas suburb of Allen, Texas, filed a federal lawsuit Nov. 16 alleging that Aetna refused to pay for her breast augmentation surgery, and wouldn’t cover short-term disability related to the procedure.Â
“Defendant Aetna’s policy is abhorrent, insupportable by any legitimate source in the medical community, completely contrary to globally accepted standard[s] of care for the treatment of Gender Dysphoria, arbitrary … and clearly motivated by intentional and/or maliciously ignorant desire to deny benefits to its plan enrollees on the basis of gender and gender identity,” Baker’s complaint states.Â
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, is among the first to invoke a provision of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity among federal contractors. The lawsuit also alleges that Aetna is in violation of Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on gender, as well as theÂ Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.Â
Baker’s Aetna policy covers hormone therapy and genital reconstructive surgery for both trans men and trans women, in addition to mastectomies for trans men. However, the policy doesn’t cover breast augmentation for trans women, because Aetna considers the procedure to be “cosmetic.”Â
“Itâ€™s an essential part of my outward expression of being female,” Baker told CBS Dallas/Fort Worth.Â â€œI felt very demeaned and demoralized. …Â I donâ€™t understand what the discrepancy is, why would you cover one and not the other?â€
Baker’s employer, military contractor L-3 Communications Corp., is also named in the lawsuit. However, Baker says L-3 has been supportive since she transitioned in 2011.Â Neither L-3 nor Aetna has commented on Baker’s lawsuit.Â
â€œI think thereâ€™s a greater cause here. Itâ€™s not just about me, itâ€™s about everyone,” Baker said. “All weâ€™re asking for is a little dignity.â€
In July, a transgender woman in Colorado accused Aetna of refusing to cover her gender reassignment surgery. The woman’s complaint was based on Colorado law prohibiting anti-trans discrimination in insurance coverage.Â
On its website, Connecticut basedÂ Aetna boasts that it’s the only company in its industry that has received a perfect score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index every year since the CEI was created.Â
“Aetna has long been committed to its LGBT employees and the greater LGBT community,” the company states. “In early 2009, Aetna was the first major health benefits company to offer transgender-inclusive benefits for its employees and any contracted companies choosing to do so for their employees. In its 2015 benefits plans, Aetna expanded coverage for gender reassignment procedures in the 33 Aetna plans offered to federal employees, in addition to all commercial business including individual and small group plans.”
A spokesman for HRC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about Baker’s lawsuit.Â
Watch CBS’s report above and read the full complaint below.Â
Image: Screenshot via CBS Dallas/Fort Worth
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Suggests July 4 Mass Shooting Was a False Flag ‘Designed to Persuade’ GOP to Support Gun Control
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has promoted several very different responses over the past few hours to the July 4 mass shooting that left seven people dead, scores injured, and a two-year-old boy orphaned.
The Republican from Georgia went from promoting the right wing’s latest talking points, that antidepressants are to blame for the massacre, and demanding to see the alleged shooter’s medical records, to claiming it “sounds like” a false flag operation, “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with” gun control.
“Now, here’s what I have to say,” Greene declared on her podcast. “I mean, two shootings on July 4, one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display.”
(There were 218 shootings on July 4, according to information from the Gun Violence Archive.)
“Almost sounds like it’s designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control,” she announced, strongly suggesting false flag operations. Police have offered no indication anyone except the alleged shooter planned the Independence Day massacre, and have said he spent weeks doing so.
“I mean, after all, remember we didn’t see that happen at all the Pride parades in the month of June,” she lamented angrily, ignoring all the right-wing violence at Pride celebrations this year.
“But as soon as we hit MAGA month, as soon as we hit the month that we’re all celebrating – loving our country,” she said, implying Democrats don’t love America and don’t celebrate Independence Day, “we have shootings on July 4. I mean, that’s a, you know, that would sound like a conspiracy theory, right? Of course. But what’s the definition of a right-wing conspiracy theory? Well, by the way, it’s the news that’s just six-months early.”
Watch below or at this link:
Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests the two July 4th shootings, “one in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display” are false flags “designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control.” pic.twitter.com/VEm6ZUdcUq
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 6, 2022
Antidepressants, Pot, and Women to Blame for Horrific July 4 Mass Shooting According to Tucker Carlson
Barely hours after authorities announced charges against the 21-year-old police believe shot and killed seven people and wounded scores of others at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Tucker Carlson explained to his Fox News audience why Robert Crimo allegedly committed mass murder: women, marijuana, and antidepressants, along with a life filled with pornography, video games, and social media.
Carlson said Crimo seems “like a nutcase,” but he “he didn’t stand out, maybe because there’s a lot of young men in America who suddenly look and act a lot like this guy.”
“That’s not an attack, it’s just true,” Carlson insisted, as Media Matters reports. “Like Crimo, they inhabit a solitary fantasy world of social media, porn, and video games. They are high on government-endorsed weed. ‘Smoke some more! It’s good for you,'” he mocked.
“They’re numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that are handed out at every school in the country by crackpots posing as counselors,'” Carlson claimed, apparently referring to antidepressants, also known as SSRIs. School counselors, unless they are also MDs, cannot prescribe SSRIs.
(SSRIs are prescribed for “depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, migraine (prophylaxis), and other conditions.”)
Then Carlson arrived at the root of what he determined drives these young men, presumably these young men who kill.
Instead, he says, “they are angry.”
Because, Carlson declares, “the authorities in their lives — mostly women — never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. ‘You’re male! You’re privileged.’ Imagine that. Try to imagine an unhealthier, unhappier life than that. So, a lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised?”
Tucker: The authorities in their lives, mostly women, never stop lecturing them about their so-called male privilege. A lot of young men in America are going nuts. Are you surprised? A shockingly large number have been prescribed psychotropic drugs. pic.twitter.com/bB9Nb4CHQ1
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
Meanwhile, very little is known about the shooter. It is not known if he’s taking antidepressants, using pot, has a mother who attacks him for his privilege, or uses porn. But Carlson and others at Fox News are suggesting to viewers they know why he flooded more than 70 rounds into an Independence Day parade.
There have been 320 mass shootings in America this year – and we’re only on day 187.
The nation has suffered 22,583 deaths from guns just this year alone. That’s 120 deaths on average every day.
Despite those numbers, the vast, vast majority of people taking antidepressants, or using pot or porn, are not pulling the trigger in a mass shooting.
Carlson points to no statistics to show women “never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege.”
In fact, he offers up no statistics, no proof at all of any of his claims.
Same with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who blames the mass shooting on pot.
Ingraham: On the mass shooting in Illinois, indications are that he was a regular pot user… What can regular pot use trigger in young men in particular? Psychosis and other violent personality changes.. pic.twitter.com/5QxveHmSXZ
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 6, 2022
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene quickly dredged up the “psychiatric drugs” allegation less than 24 hours after the shooting started.
“What drugs and/or psychiatric drugs was he on for his mind to be ruined in alternate reality games that caused him to commit a mass shooting? His parents know. The police know. School, arrest, hospital records? The public DESERVES to know.,” she tweeted.
Dr. Sherry Pagoto is a licensed clinical psychologist, social media researcher, professor at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. She’s also the former president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
And she’s pushing back against the SSRI blame game.
“Psychologist here,” writes Dr. Pagoto. “Yep. And far more women take SSRIs than men and yet women never commit mass shootings. The SSRI hypothesis has absolutely no scientific support. Quite the contrary, SSRIs save lives.”
In 2019 Politifact looked at the “dubious claim that psychiatric drugs fuel mass shootings?” The fact-checking group talked with six medical experts, with one explaining “that in her view there is no evidence that psychiatric medicine is linked to mass shootings.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Christian Right Facing ‘Credibility’ Issues — Just as They Try to Force Their Will on Everyone Else: Analyst
On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC’s ReidOutBlog, Ja’han Jones outlined how the Christian Right is facing renewed moral scrutiny and a crisis of “credibility” — at exactly the moment they have captured the Supreme Court and have begun striking down rights and protections they have long declared to be counter to moral society.
Specifically, he argued, the latest rash of sex abuse allegations against conservative Christian institutions puts their moral authority on the line.
The Catholic Church has long faced criticism for overlooking and shielding priests accused of molesting children — but now, noted Jones, other denominations are coming under scrutiny for similar alleged misconduct.
“First, there’s the scandal still unfolding at Agapè Boarding School, a Christian facility for young men in Missouri that’s facing a slew of child abuse allegations. Agapè pitches guardians on its ability to ‘biblically teach your child the importance of submission to authority and the joys of being an obedient law-abiding citizen,'” wrote Jones. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been investigating Agapè for systemic child abuse for more than a year now. On Monday, The Daily Beast reported new details about several students who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused and beaten by workers at the school.”
“That alleged culture of abuse sounds similar to the one victims say was fostered by the Southern Baptist Convention, an ultraconservative denomination of Christian nationalists,” wrote Jones. “In May, church leaders released a report showing hundreds of pastors and church workers have been accused of sexual abuse. The SBC, which is in ideological lockstep with the conservative movement, has since released the names of pastors it says were accused between 2000 and 2019. When the news dropped, SBC President Ed Litton said in a statement there ‘are not adequate words to express my sorrow at the things revealed in this report,’ and that Southern Baptists ‘must resolve to change our culture and implement desperately needed reforms.'”
All of this, he noted, comes as many right-wing Christian organizations are claiming that their hate speech and discrimination against LGBTQ people is in the name of “defending children.” And this is “an impossible sell when the worlds they operate appear even more broken than the one they want to ‘fix.'”
You can read more here.
- News2 days ago
‘Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas’: More Than One Million Signatures as Petition Goes Viral
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ Says Russia ‘Will Have to Think Whether to Re-Install’ Trump ‘Again’: Report
- News2 days ago
Trump Celebrates Fourth of July by Attacking His Enemies as Biden Hails the American ‘Idea’ of ‘Hope’
- News2 days ago
‘The American People Are on Our Side’: Democrat Offers Idea to Save Women’s Freedoms
- News1 day ago
‘This Is a Business’: New Footage of Trump Family Emerges From Jan. 6 Investigation
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
GOP Nominee for Illinois Governor Offers Prayers Then Quickly Dismisses July 4 Mass Shooting: ‘Let’s Move On’
- CRIME2 days ago
Who Is the Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting Person of Interest? ‘Obsession With Mass Death and Nihilism’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Trump Endorsed Pro-Gun GOP Nominee Apologizes After Urging People to ‘Move On’ Hours After July 4 Mass Shooting