New York City Mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio said Sunday that gender reassignment surgeries "absolutely" should be covered by taxpayer dollars through Medicare for All.
"We have to respect everyone's medical needs," de Blasio told CBS News' Zak Hudak during the city's annual Pride Parade. "If someone needs a surgery to be full and to live their life fully — the idea is a health-care system that actually serves everyone to the fullest, not a health-care system that rations and causes people to struggle to get just a little health care."
.@BilldeBlasio tells me gender reassignment surgery should be paid for by Medicare for All #NYCPrideMarch https://t.co/7fC2NbQm9A— Zak Hudak (@Zak Hudak)1561915469.0
National Review said de Blasio is the first 2020 candidate to back coverage of gender reassignment surgeries under a Medicare for All system — and that fellow presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.), who introduced a Medicare for All bill in 2017, hasn't indicated if gender reassignment surgeries would be covered under such a system.
In relation to gender identity, de Blasio has made his stance more than clear:
- Last year, he declared that New York City's jails would house inmates by their preferred gender identities.
- He also stood behind a rule forbidding father-daughter, mother-son dances implemented by the city's Department of Education to satisfy gender-neutral requirements.
- Later in 2018, de Blasio signed a bill allowing city residents to change their birth certificates to reflect their preferred gender or choose a third nonbinary option of "X."
- In 2016, he announced the launch of the first government-led citywide ad campaign in the nation on transgender bathrooms — with a $260,000 price tag.
Following last week's Democratic presidential debates, de Blasio was backed by only 1 percent of voters, according to a Morning Consult poll.