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Texas and Montana Sue Biden Admin Over Rule Forcing States to Pay for 'Gender Transition'

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

These days, the federal government seems to be an ever-expanding cornucopia of bad ideas, most of them bad and expensive. If the federal government isn't soaking the taxpayers for some ridiculous new thing, then they are finding a way to force the states to hit up the productive to pay for some new outrage. 

Much of the time, these things devolve to the states because, somewhere, at some level, someone remembered that federalism is still a thing and that the states can do things that Washington cannot, so the federal government tries to coerce the states into doing something.

That's what is happening now, but at least two states are pushing back. Texas and Montana are suing the Biden administration over a new rule (read that, "diktat") that forces states to pay for "gender transitions" through their Medicaid programs.

Texas and Montana have sued the Biden administration over another federal rule change it implemented, this time over one that requires states to pay for “gender transition” procedures through their Medicaid programs.

It also requires health-care providers to perform such procedures in states where the practice has been banned, including in Montana and Texas. Their state legislatures passed bills their governors signed into law prohibiting “gender transition” procedures from being performed on minors in their states, among other restrictions.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division. It names U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Melanie Fontes Rainer, the director of the Office of Civil Rights within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as CMMS and HHS, as defendants.

It's important to note that the bans described are for minors; presumably, adults are free to undergo such treatments as long as they can pay for them.


See Related: New Polls Show More Americans Are Not Buying Into the Transgender Agenda 

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The case argues that the Biden administration, in formulating this rule, has exceeded its statutory authority:

The lawsuit argues, “Section 1557 does not authorize – and has never authorized – the federal government to compel anyone to perform or pay for ‘gender-transition’ procedures.” It also argues the rule change is unlawful, violates the Constitution, and asks the court to “set it aside and issue injunctive relief.”

“The Biden Administration is attempting to exact radical social change by defunding States and healthcare providers across the country who refuse to provide or pay for dangerous and experimental ‘gender-transition’ medical activities,” the complaint states. “Through a sweeping new rule promulgated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), those who do not conform to the Biden Administration’s gender-ideology regime stand to lose all federal healthcare funds, including Medicaid and Medicare dollars.”

The federal government has a long track record of using federal funds disbursement to coerce action by the states. A previous example would be the Carter administration's disastrous 55mph speed limit, which was shoved down the throats of the states by the threat of losing federal highway funds.

It's extortion, nothing but.

There is a reason that the United States was set up the way it was - a federal republic, an association of independent states with a federal government in place to handle matters that concern all the states equally - like border control, the military, and relations with other nations. But one of the primary principles of federalism is that all the states - 50, as things stand today - are each their own laboratory in government. Each state has its own culture, its values, and different governing philosophies, within the Constitution's stricture to guarantee to each state a "republican form of government." This is a classic example of the value of federalism. If California or Massachusetts wished to have taxpayer funding for something, they cannot force Texas or Montana to do so, and neither should the federal government; this is not within the scope of enumerated powers detailed in the Constitution. And if a resident of Texas or Montana doesn't like the policies of that state, they are free to move to California or Massachusetts.

Remember the Constitution? The highest law of the land, written a million or so years ago by a bunch of old white guys who probably owned slaves? The most brilliant governing document in the history of mankind? That Constitution?

This case may well go to the Supreme Court. Or, it may be rendered moot by having a new president inaugurated in January who will overturn this stupid policy. In many ways, the former would be preferable, as it would establish a legal precedent instead of just kicking the can down the road until the next leftist president comes in and starts it all over again.

Meanwhile, we can watch this case, and wait. This is, at its heart, not only a case about "transgender" treatments and who should pay for them, although it is that. This is a case about federalism, and we can hope the right side prevails - because it will do incalculable damage to the republic if they do not.

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