From The Daily Pennsylvanian: http://www.dailypennsylvanian.com/article/smart-alec-inequality-without-reason
Penn is arbitrarily excluding essential treatment for some of its transgender faculty and staff
by Alec Webley
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Next year, Penn will exclude medically necessary treatment for some transsexuals from the staff and faculty healthcare plan. It will do so despite the heartfelt pleas of its employees, despite the recommendation of its benefits committee, despite the miniscule cost of the addition and despite the inclusion of exactly those benefits in the student healthcare plan this year. Why?
A small number of transgender people require “triadic treatment,” which involves counseling, hormone therapy and surgery. These reconstructive procedures are not optional — they are medically essential. And the complications for not completing the course of treatment can be deadly.
In a statement as warm and human as a thrown knife, the University asserts that triadic treatment is simply too costly to include for faculty and staff. After all, medical expenses have been going through the roof. Yet if we take Vice President for Human Resources Jack Heuer’s own figures for Penn’s estimated costs given to University Council on Wednesday and run them through the analysis used by the City of San Francisco (developed over ten years of experience with these treatments), the cost of covering triadic treatment for staff and faculty is about the same as it is with students — slightly more than $1 per person per year.
So, if it’s so cheap, what gives? Here’s my theory. The reason behind the denial is simple. It boils down to two things — perspiration and politics.
Continue reading at: http://www.dailypennsylvanian.com/article/smart-alec-inequality-without-reason