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Biden admin appeals in case to force doctors, hospitals to perform transgender procedures even if unwilling

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On Tuesday, the Biden administration filed an appeal aiming to require doctors and hospitals to carry out possibly harmful transgender-related procedures and surgeries, even if they are unwilling to.

A North Dakota judge in January sided with Catholic hospitals in striking down the Biden administration’s move to punish doctors who don’t perform transgender-related procedures for “sex discrimination,” according to Luke Goodrich, Vice President and senior counsel at BECKET Law. The administration filed an appeal on Tuesday.

Goodrich took to Twitter to outline his arguments about the administration’s move, which he vehemently opposes:

The plaintiffs are religious doctors, hospitals, and clinics who joyfully serve ALL patients regardless of sex or gender identity. They routinely provide top-notch care to transgender patients for everything from cancer to the common cold.

They also provide millions of dollars in free and low-cost care to the elderly, poor, and underserved–care that is jeopardized by the government’s attempt to punish them with multi-million dollar penalties.

The Transgender Mandate not only threatens religious doctors and hospitals. It also threatens patients, as there is ample evidence that certain gender transition procedures can be deeply harmful.

Multiple federal courts have reached the same conclusion: “There is no medical consensus that sex reassignment surgery is a necessary or even effective treatment for gender dysphoria.” Gibson v. Collier, 920 F.3d 212, 223 (5th Cir. 2019).

The government’s own doctors during the Obama Admin agreed: “Based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence…there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for [patients] with gender dysphoria.

And just weeks ago, a study commissioned by NHS England found “very low” evidence for the effectiveness of “puberty blockers” and cross-sex hormones.

The Biden Admin shouldn’t have appealed. But we look forward to another ruling that protects patients, aligns with current medical research, and ensures doctors aren’t forced to violate their religious beliefs and professional medical judgment.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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