In re: Mandating that State Contractors Provide Insurance Coverage for ‘Transgender’ Procedures (Bill S.8061-Reichlin-Melnick)

Bill S.8061-Reichlin-Melnick would bar the state of New York from contracting with any entity that declines to provide insurance coverage for ‘transgender’ procedures, “including but not limited to hormone replacement therapy, gender-affirming surgery, and treatment typically associated with one particular gender.” Following the bill’s effective date, all new state contracts—along with all state contract renewals, amendments, and modifications—would be required to contain language obligating contractors to provide such insurance.

This mean-spirited and exclusionary bill proposes to use state power to pressure employers to fund highly controversial elective procedures. If passed, the bill would target two groups of state contractors. The first group consists of contractors who decline to cover “transgender” procedures for their employees because they believe that such coverage is not needed or is excessively costly, and the second group consists of faith-based contractors who decline to cover “transgender” procedures because such procedures violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs. The sponsor utterly fails to demonstrate why the state’s affinity for “transgender” procedures should override employers’ cost concerns, let alone their religious beliefs.

This unnecessary piece of legislation should be rejected.