H.R.1981: Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act

Overview

The Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act would amend Title XIX of the Social Security Act, which established regulations for the Medicaid program, to explicitly prohibit payments under the Medicaid program for conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy, or “sexual orientation change efforts,” are programs that, in various ways, attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Historically, these programs implement tactics, many abusive, such as electroconvulsive shock therapy, inducing nausea, vomiting, or paralysis while showing the patient homoerotic images, and the like, based on the premises that being LGBTQ+ is a disorder and that sexual orientation can be changed. Scientifically, this in inaccurate. These programs are often geared towards LGBTQ+ youth.
The formal definition of conversion therapy in the bill text is as follows:
“any practice or treatment by any person that seeks to change another individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender, if such person receives monetary compensation in exchange for any such practice or treatment; and does not include any practice or treatment, which does not seek to change sexual orientation or gender identity, that provides assistance to an individual undergoing a gender transition; or provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a client or facilitation of a client’s coping, social support and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices.”

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Talking Points

  • A number of trusted and reputable medical and mental health organizations have taken a position against conversion therapy, including the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychiatric Association, among many others, some noting the increased risk of depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior that follows the completion of one of these programs.
  • The National Assembly is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The National Assembly envisions equity as the condition in which differences among people have no influence on how they fare in society.
  • Equity is advanced through the implementation of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that prevent differential outcomes based on the differences among people. This requires a continuous reevaluation of norms, and a commitment to eliminating policies, practices, and systems that perpetuate inequity, so that all people are fully welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.
  • The National Assembly supports H.R. 1981, legislation that would protect the health, safety, and well-being of LGBTQ+ youth so that they have equal opportunity to thrive.

Our Stance

Support

Priority

Medium

Bill Number

H.R.1981

Date Introduced

March 28, 2019

Committee

House Energy and Commerce Committee

Bill Status

Introduced or Prefiled

Assigned Contact

Terry Stone
CenterLink
1001 West Cypress Creek Road
Fort Lauderdale FL , 33309
954-765-6024