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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 17, 2014 03:27 PM
From: Representative Mark B. Cohen
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation to address transgender discrimination
In the near future, I will introduce a four-bill package to address specific concerns faced by members of Pennsylvania's transgender community involving institutional discrimination. My legislation would greatly help an extremely marginalized community with negligible costs to the state.

The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems recognize the necessity of treating gender dysphoria to those in need and support removing financial barriers.

This legislation would progress Pennsylvania towards a just and equal society with minimal cost to the state and taxpayers. Please join me in co-sponsoring these important pieces of legislation.

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Hileman of my office at 787-4117 or khileman@pahouse.net.

Document #1

Description: The first piece of legislation expands Medicaid to include transition-related treatment.

Transgender individuals are statistically more likely to be on Medicaid. In addition, individuals suffering from gender dysphoria are more likely to burden taxpayers with the high cost of emergency room visits due to drug problems and suicide attempts. Recent estimates done by New York and California determined that, due to the miniscule transgender population, the costs of Medicaid would increase by a mere fraction of a percent.

Document #2

Description: The second piece of legislation expands the benefits of state-employee’s health care to include transition-related treatment.

In April of 2013, Philadelphia adopted legislation that expands transition-related treatment for gender dysphoria consistent with the administration of other health benefits. All individuals in Pennsylvania should have the same rights to healthcare that are already guaranteed in Philadelphia. By expanding the treatments offered, Pennsylvania would suffer only negligible costs to become socially responsible and create a safe and equal environment for all state employees.

Document #3

Description: The third piece of legislation establishes a tax-credit for private businesses that offer transition-related treatment to all individuals covered by their health plan.

The Corporate Equality Index of 2014 shows that 30% of Fortune 500 companies include transition-related treatment in their employee health benefits, a number that has increased by 10% since 2012. The tax credit provided for in this legislation would serve as motivation for companies to move to the forefront of LGBT equality by removing artificially constructed stigmas and allowing companies to be fully representative of all Pennsylvanians. Businesses that make use of the tax-credit are likely to see minimal increases in insurance costs.

Document #4

Description: The fourth piece of legislation would amend the Public School Code to eliminate gender-based restrictions and prerequisites; based off the Success for All Students Act, passed in California last year.

In public schools, transgender students experience issues with gender-segregated facilities, activities, and policies. While there may be need for certain forms of gender separation, this piece of legislation will affirm Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and allow students who are transgender to be in the proper gender setting, regardless of the sex listed on student records.