Thursday, April 18, 2013

COLORADO: Politicians Try to Restore Medicaid Circumcision Funding AGAIN

Representative Paul Rosenthal moved an amendment to restore Medicaid funding of circumcision.

Rosenthal's argument was that "the AAP supports this amendment ... because they said that the benefits outweigh the risks...."

The move to amend was struck down on the technicality that the amendment was out of order, because it would make a substantive law via a footnote.

Audio available here.

This wouldn't be the first time a politician has attempted to restore Medicaid coverage for infant circumcision on the grounds of public health interest; last year, Senator Joyce Foster tried to do the same by introducing Senate Bill 90.

The bill died in the Colorado House in May last year.

Ostensibly, Foster acted in interest of "helping the poor" and public health, and denied any connection with her Jewish faith. In an article at the time, she said:

"This bill will have absolutely nothing to do with the Jewish community of Colorado... [I am] most persuaded by the medical evidence." ("Evidence" that couldn't persuade respected medical organizations in and outside the US to endorse the practice?)

 The Jewish Daily Forward betrayed her true motives for the Colorado bill, however:

Foster, the main backer of the Colorado bill, said she believes that cutting Medicaid coverage for circumcision sent a message of support to anti-circumcision activists who want see the procedure outlawed nationwide. She is determined to push back against that effort. 

"Ultimately, I think when the anti-circumcision people begin to see so many states denying benefits... it will be easier for them now to make their case that circumcision should be banned altogether."

Rosenthal touted the latest AAP one-liner. (Interesting, he doesn't mention the fact that the latest AAP statement has been formally rejected by pretty much the rest of modern medicine, and is currently in the hot seat.)

But, like Joyce Foster, could his true motives have lied lain elsewhere?

Earlier posts:
COLORADO: Conflicts of Interest Plague Medicaid Circumcision Coverage Bill 

COLORADO: Senator Aguilar Circumvents Circumcision Debate

COLORADO: Jewish Circumcision Protection Bill Moves Forward


  1. The truth is that (except in a couple states that list circumcision as a statutory exception) infant circumcision is already illegal under child abuse and child sexual abuse statutes. There is no need to make circumcision illegal when it already is. I have a problem with the state paying for a religious rite. If Colorado wants to pay for a bris, then they should also pay for a Catholic's wedding. Both are considered essential events in the life of the believer.

    There is something underlyingly wrong about pushing a procedure on the rest of the population to provide a buffer to protect a religious ritual practiced by a small minority.

  2. "...could his true motives have LAIN elsewhere?"

    It is also my understanding that in some states, health insurance will cover part or all of the mohel's fee, even if the mohel is not a doctor. This coverage of the cost of bris goes down the drain if health Medicaid coverage is dropped everywhere.

  3. Thanks, RD, made the correction.

    Intactivists should investigate to see what these states are; taxpayers need to know that their tax dollars are being spent on a non-medical religious ritual which could potentially be a hazard for herpes.

    I honestly think it's really more a matter of, as bossy-squirrel put it, providing a buffer to protect a cherished religious ritual that has been under fire for centuries. Joyce Foster didn't try very hard to conceal her true intentions, IMO.