AUSTIN (KXAN) — Senate Bill 1029, which would prevent state-funded health insurance from covering gender-affirming care (GAC), passed the Texas Senate this week and will soon head to the House for a vote.
The bill was introduced in February by Republican Senator Bob Hall. It’s one of 80 he’s filed during the 88th Legislative Session.
Other bills filed by Hall include liability protection for providers and pharmacists who prescribe ivermectin to patients with COVID-19 (SB 301) and a bill to prohibit discrimination against people who choose not to get COVID-19 vaccinations (SB 308).
Allison Chapman, a transgender activist and independent legislative researcher, told KXAN in February the bill “effectively bans” GAC coverage for children and adults in Texas.
“I think the impact is going to be that doctors aren’t going to feel comfortable providing gender-affirming care,” Chapman said. “The liability is so broad and it’s for life, we don’t know other medical procedure says that you’re going to be liable for everything forever. When someone gets a knee replacement, that has a really high regret rate. You don’t see legislators saying that a doctor or healthcare provider is going to have to pay to reverse that procedure.”
A systematic review and meta-analysis examined 27 studies on gender-affirming surgeries and found the regret rate for those surgeries is around 1%. The regret rate for a total knee arthroplasty sits around 18%, according to a study published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.
The bill does not prevent private insurance from covering GAC or create any statute to directly ban providers from offering GAC. It also does not change or expand Texas laws regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. You can read the full bill in KXAN’s coverage of its introduction.
Texas Legislature Online shows the Texas Senate passed the bill Wednesday. The bill will now head to the House Committee to be voted on. If passed, it would go to Governor Abbott’s desk, where he could sign it into law.