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Calif. city plans to provide transgender surgeries

Associated Press Modified: November 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm •  Published: November 8, 2012
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"Sex reassignment surgery is not the end all. It's one service that some transgender people want and some don't," she said. "We can probably manage this over the next three years without much of a budget increase because we already have these (other) services covered."

San Francisco in 2001 became the first city in the country to cover sex reassignment surgeries for government employees. Last year, Portland, Ore. did the same. The number of major U.S. companies covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery for transgender workers also doubled last year, reflecting a decades-long push by transgender activists to get insurance companies to treat such surgeries as medically necessary instead of elective procedures.

Kathryn Steuerman, a member of a transgender health advocacy group in San Francisco, said the city's latest move would help residents avoid going into debt to finance operations related to gender transition, as she did.

"I am filled with hope and gratitude that we are achieving this level of support for the well-being of the transgender community," Steuerman said.