A bill LGBTQ advocates say is anti-trans passes House committee

Symbol of transgender on color background
The bill's sponsor denied his legislation targeted the transgender community.

Despite more than two hours of opposition lobbying against the legislation, a House panel approved a bill Thursday mandating insurance companies that provide transgender care to also be required to cover de-transition treatments.

The House Infrastructure Strategies Committee voted in favor of HB 1639 after emotional testimony during a five-hour meeting.

“This is a charged debate,” said bill sponsor Rep. Doug Bankson, a Republican from Apopka who argued his legislation was “bringing compassion to those who have seen and experienced brokenness in their life and want to make themselves whole.”

Others viewed it differently, calling it a slap in the face to the LGBTQ+ community.

“This bill is not compassionate,” said Rep. Angie Nixon, a Jacksonville Democrat. “It has everything to do with transphobia and infringing upon the freedoms of people you don’t understand, people you fear or people you simply don’t agree with how they live their lives.”

Under the bill, health insurance companies covering prescriptions or procedures as part of transgender care will also provide coverage for treatment to de-transition “for an appropriate additional premium” starting January 1, 2025, according to the staff analysis. 

Insurance companies offering transgender care will also be required to offer additional policies that does not offer that coverage.

The bill also requires a driver license or identification card to include a person’s sex at birth, instead of gender.

“This does not take anyone’s right to personally identify how they wish but this is a state document based upon state statute. That’s why there’s clarity,” Bankson said.

Democrats argued the state was interfering in the private sector by deciding what insurance companies are required to cover. Others accused Republicans of hypocrisy, pointing out state doesn’t require insurance companies to cover reversals for vasectomies and penile implants.

Bankson called transition surgeries “relatively new” in the medical field and said there needed to be a “two-way street” for people who undergo.

“It is discriminatory to say we will make you whole this direction, but not make you whole this direction,” he said.

Bankson denied his legislation was attacking the transgender community and argued he didn’t believe his bill, if passed, could lead insurance companies to deciding to drop transition surgeries.

“I know there are fears that this will cause the insurance coverage there to be diminished. I have not had anyone from the insurance industry speaking out against this bill, telling me this is terrible,” he said. “I truly think it’s the opposite.”

The majority of the testimony from the public voiced opposition to the bill as LGBTQ+ advocates shared how gender-affirming care helped them and compared reparative therapy to conversion therapy.

The ranking Democrat on the committee lamented HB 1639 debate dominating the meeting.

“We have spent over two hours on this bill just today, and on all the other days to talk about something that does no harm to anyone,” said Rep. Christine Hunscherofsky. “We should be spending more time looking at expanding Medicaid and all these other things we could be doing to actually help people. It is so painful.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Abram Nicholson

    February 22, 2024 at 8:21 pm

    Typical GOP racism, stupidity, and mixing religions with government which should never happen.

  • Michael K

    February 22, 2024 at 8:52 pm

    There now, Republicans. Do you feel better, now that you’ve diminished and degraded fellow human beings and Floridians whom you serve and represent? Is this enough cruelty to see you through the session, or will there be more hatred to bestow so you can feel superior and self-righteous?

    Did you see that young person in Oklahoma who was murdered because of state-sanctioned trans hate? Is that what you wish on people in Florida?

    • just sayin

      February 23, 2024 at 2:29 pm

      Can you articulate why this legislation is anti-trans? I’m genuinely baffled why Democrats are attacking this.

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 22, 2024 at 9:01 pm

    The G0Ps behind this legislative who clearly do not believe the TS-13 are capable of coming for them need to check “deer saves bunny from hawk” over on the YT

  • JB

    February 22, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    The only stupidity is that created by Liberalism, and the Communists behind it.

    When does it end ? Every freak, pervert, moron, and self described subset on society want special recognition and carve outs just for them. Its total BS. Every race gets a special holiday today. Fine. But no federal recognition of it. Every pronoun gets their own flag and law to protect them from being referred to in a manner that they dislike. But end federal recognition of it. Burning a rainbow flag is a hate crime but anything goes with the American Flag. Its sick twisted logic and law. Why is calling out a homosexual a hate crime ? Why is opposition to baby murder a felony ? Its a sick society today, with sexual perversion given federal protections but championing for the right of the unborn a crime !

    I call for an end to any legal recognition of the never ending freak show that has turned the US into a land of weak pajama boys.
    There must be only one national Flag, the American Flag
    There must be only 2 sexes.
    There must be an end to the LGBTQ freak show in schools, an end to tampons in mens restrooms, an end to pronouns as a legal name, an end to genetically positive males in womens sports, and a return to the normalcy of society we enjoyed for centuries. The freak show must end. Drag queers must return to the clubs and seedy joints and stay out of the schools. Children must be protected from sexual conversions and therapy. Its time. Its overdue. And its essential for a morally healthy nation. And one national holiday. July 4. Thats it. To hell with all the rest.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 22, 2024 at 9:15 pm

      OK boomer

      • No Trophy For You

        February 22, 2024 at 9:30 pm

        Boomer speaks the truth. Butch up snowflake. Your generation is lost in DEI / WOKE stupidity.

        • Dont Say FLA

          February 22, 2024 at 10:29 pm

          Boomer uses the word “we” while attacking the melting pot known as America .

          Are you part of Boomer’s “we?” Maybe you are. Today. But that lasts only as long as Boomer says you are part of the club.

          Rather than leaving right wing sects alone until there’s nobody else left and they finally declare war on each other, if pushed far enough, the Swifties will exterminate your type.

          One of you just outside Minneapolis went down this week as a demonstration. I hope you were paying attention and figure out to get over yourself.

          You be you. Everybody else be everybody else.

  • Michael K

    February 22, 2024 at 10:11 pm

    Sounds like you’re describing life in Russia or Iran or under the Taliban. I struggle to understand why other people living happy lives as their full authentic selves makes some people so angry and bitter. Why not live and let live?

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 22, 2024 at 10:31 pm

      The angry bitter people are already that way. Their observance of happy successful folk just brings it out of them, loudly and very, very whiney.

    • Sloooooow Joe

      February 23, 2024 at 7:07 am

      Most of us are fine with that. Just don’t jam it down our throats day in and day out. Reverse discrimination is alive and well in this country right now.

      • Michael K

        February 24, 2024 at 7:27 am

        I’m not sure what reverse discrimination, but there seem to be folks who claim victimhood or persecution when marginalized people succeed.

  • JB is gay

    February 22, 2024 at 11:15 pm

    Dear JB (John Boomer) I’m a weak pajama boy and I like to wear my hair long. So did your savior, no not Trump… your other one, Jesus! Yeah you forgot about him in all your bigotry and hatred for your neighbor. Jesus would be so disappointed in your public display of hate for your neighbor. You can’t even follow the simple most important commandment Jesus left you with!! Don’t worry your country is swinging back the way you want it to, with all the trans hatred happening now “biological” born women are now having to prove they were born a woman if someone says they’re too good at sports. It’s not going to stop there, you’ll have to prove that you’re a man too. Good luck!

  • just sayin

    February 23, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    How is it anti-trans to cover detransitioning surgery? Won’t this encourage more people to do transition surgery? I remember when liberals liked expanding health care options.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 24, 2024 at 5:45 pm

      The true intention of this legislation is for insurance carriers to drop coverage of transition surgeries. Therefore it’s your typical G0P bill about reducing health care options.

      Hint: You can tell the intention of any bill is the exact opposite of what it claims to be based on the bill having these two characteristics:
      1- it is a G0P bill
      2- It claims to help people in the 99% (iow not billionaires)

      • Get out of FL ASAP

        February 26, 2024 at 9:09 am

        Going to add to this: Even if insurance carriers don’t drop coverage, this bill would allow them to hike up their premiums on plans that do cover transition and de-transition. If anyone thinks a corporation will choose not to increase their profits, they need their head checked. Rep Bankson said so himself in the article above: “I have not had anyone from the insurance industry speaking out against this bill, telling me this is terrible.” – Why would anyone from the insurance industry complain about getting to write themselves a bigger check?

        This is going to lead to transgender people being forced out of the state, either because they can no longer afford to be on a plan that covers what they need, or because that type of plan is no longer offered. And what about companies with big group plans? If transgender people are covered under these plans as their only source of insurance, what happens if the company decides to switch to the plans with no coverage for transgender therapies because it becomes too expensive?

        8% of transgender people detransition in their lifetimes. Out of that 8%, 62% then transition again. So less than 4% of transgender people detransition and stay that way. Florida is estimated to have roughly 95,000 transgender people. This bill is upcharging people on group plans, transgender or not, to support specialized care for 3,800 people (4% of 95k). What company is going to continue paying those higher premiums for ALL employees to support a small share of their workers?

        Additionally, going through a detransition costs next to nothing if surgery isn’t involved, they simply stop taking their hormone medicine and/or swap to a different type to get back to their birth gender levels. And many transgender people don’t get surgeries, either because they don’t think it is necessary or because the cost is too great even with insurance.

        What this bill would make insurance companies cover to “help” people who detransition is called CONVERSION THERAPY. The same type of therapy that leads to queer kids around the country committing self-harm and ending their own lives. LGBTQ kids who go through conversion therapy are almost three times as likely to end their own lives than LGBTQ kids who don’t go through conversion therapy. This is not hyperbole: This bill would let insurance companies pay to kill queer kids.

        I only hope a Senate bill never comes up to match this proposed garbage. No one in Florida will be better off because of this except for the top executives at insurance companies.

        • Dont Say FLA

          February 29, 2024 at 8:35 am

          Aha – that totally explains how this scheme is thought by G0P’s to work.

          It’ll raise the premium for trans coverage which, to one person on the Obamacare market wanting trans stuff, that might not be the EOTW.

          To Fortune 500 C-suite types deciding what coverage to buy for all employees, that premium increase becomes a show stopper that ends trans coverage for all employees at that company.

          The G0P’s slip is always showing, but sometimes you gotta look twice to see it.

  • Let The Market Sort It Out

    February 24, 2024 at 2:04 pm

    “Let The Market Sort It Out” is a phrase no G0P has uttered for probably 40 years now. Why do people buy the G0P’s constant BS?

  • Martin

    February 27, 2024 at 6:16 pm

    Just get these people the mental help they need.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 29, 2024 at 8:35 am

      FLgOP’s need mental help? Agreed!

Comments are closed.


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