Kathleen Passidomo doesn’t support House efforts to ban insurers from covering gender-affirming care
Kathleen Passidomo. Image via Colin Hackley.

The conflict regarding the gender-affirming care bill marks one of the few clear divides between the chambers as the 2023 Session draws to an end.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo is signaling that Senate Republicans are not aligned with House Republicans on a controversial bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors and make it more difficult for adults to obtain as well.

The Senate passed its version of the bill (SB 254) in early April, but the House amended the Senate bill last week, tagging its version of the gender-affirming ban onto the Senate bill before sending it back to the Senate last week.

There are three main differences between SB 254 as it passed the Senate and the House initial proposal that was amended onto the Senate bill and was initially contained in HB 1421.

The House wants to ban insurance companies from covering transgender care. The original Senate bill did not.

The House proposal would ban minors from taking puberty blockers or other hormones by Dec. 31, 2023. The original Senate bill allowed the state’s medical boards to decide the future of the care for minors already being treated with hormones. Additionally, the House bill bans transgender people from changing their birth certificates, the Senate bill doesn’t not.

Passidomo told reporters Wednesday she was not on board with the provision in the House proposal that bans private insurance companies from providing coverage for the care.

“I’m not comfortable with that language,” Passidomo told reporters when asked about the House proposal. “We’ll see what my members decide to do.”

Her remarks come after members of the House Health and Human Services Committee voted along party lines to ask House Speaker Paul Renner to subpoena the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Florida Psychiatric Society, two medical groups that support minors access to gender-affirming care.

House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Rep. Randy Fine is drawing up the subpoenas. Fine said he will be asking the groups to explain the rationale behind their positions.

“One would believe that if they have nothing to hide, they won’t hesitate to provide that information,” Fine said.

Fine added he wasn’t exactly sure when the subpoenas would go out, but he hoped that they would be issued within 24 hours and that legislators could get the information prior to the end of Session, although he added later that the information could be reviewed at a later date.

Meanwhile, the difference over the gender-affirming care bill marks one of the few clear divides separating the House and Senate with just nine days left in the Session. But it would seem unlikely that the bill would die in the waning moments since it’s a high priority for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis and his administration began placing restrictions on gender-affirming care last year. The administration passed a rule banning Medicaid from reimbursing for the care. The rule is being challenged in federal court.

DeSantis’ Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo, also pushed two state medical boards to change their standard of care rules and ban physicians from providing the care to minors.

DeSantis also pushed legislators to enshrine the restrictions into law which is why the Legislature has been debating the issue.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704