Republicans demand health officials investigate transgender ‘child abuse,’ fraud at Texas hospital – LifeSite

AUSTIN (LifeSiteNews) — Texas Republican lawmakers have formally asked the Texas Health & Human Services Commission to investigate claims that Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) has been committing both child abuse and Medicaid fraud in its “gender reassignment” practices on underage children, offenses that could potentially put those responsible in prison for a decade. 

Last week, Manhattan Institute journalist and New College of Florida board member Christopher Rufo published a report about TCH nurse Vanessa Sivadge’s firsthand account of the sharp increase in so-called “transgender children” seen by the facility starting in 2021, who were encouraged to “transition” rather than treat the underlying issues they displayed. She also said she found evidence that numerous children seen by Dr. Richard Roberts and Dr. David Paul were prescribed cross-sex hormones while enrolled in the state Medicaid program in apparent violation of state law. Days later, TCH temporarily closed the pediatric gender program and scrubbed the press contact page from its website.

On June 24, Republican state Reps. Brian Harrison and Mayes Middleton sent a letter to executive health commissioner Cecile Erwin Young and health inspector general Raymond Charles Winter demanding an “immediate” investigation of the charges.

“As you are aware, the Texas Medicaid Provider Procedures Manual has long excluded from Medicaid reimbursement ‘sex change operations,’ which the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) interprets to also include ‘prescription drugs for the purpose of gender affirming care,’” the letter says. “Additionally, these procedures on minors are now illegal in Texas. As a result, submitting a claim. for payment for these procedures or drugs violates both the Texas False. Claims Act (see Tex. Human Res. Code § 36.001 et seq.) and the Federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq.”

“There is perhaps no more important responsibility we all share than to be good stewards with tax dollars, and we are deeply concerned that flagrant misuse of Medicaid/CHIP funds may be occurring. If true, not only do the actors involved know that they are perpetrating a fraud, but they are doing it to engage in child abuse,” the lawmakers add. “We refuse to sit idly by while children are being harmed in our state and our constituents are being forced to fund it.”

Rufo observed that if “referred for criminal prosecution, the doctors could face up to 10 years in prison.”

The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s has already said it is investigating the charges of Medicaid fraud as well.

The latest on TCH follows Rufo’s 2023 interview with a then-anonymous ex-employee who said Roberts did not hesitate to prescribe cross-sex hormones and mastectomies to gender-confused children whose medical records indicated “serious mental health issues” including autism that better explained their personal strife. 

That first whistleblower, now known to be former TCH general surgeon Dr. Eithan Haim, has since been indicted by the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ), ostensibly for sharing confidential patient records in violation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – even though the materials he exposed were not patient charts and were redacted to preserve patients’ anonymity. Haim faces up to 10 years in prison

A significant body of evidence shows that “affirming” gender confusion carries serious harms, especially when done with impressionable children who lack the mental development, emotional maturity, and life experience to consider the long-term ramifications of the decisions being pushed on them, or full knowledge about the long-term effects of life-altering, physically transformative, and often irreversible surgical and chemical procedures.

Studies find that more than 80% of children suffering gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence and that “transition” procedures, including full “reassignment” surgery, fail to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

Many oft-ignored “detransitioners,” individuals who attempted to live under a different “gender identity” before embracing their sex, attest to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject, many of whom take an activist approach to their profession and begin cases with a predetermined conclusion in support of “transitioning.”

Such physicians have also been caught on video admitting to more old-fashioned motives for such procedures, as with an 2022 exposé about Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Clinic for Transgender Health, where Dr. Shayne Sebold Taylor said outright that “these surgeries make a lot of money.”

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