NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University officials say the school’s student insurance will start covering transgender-related surgeries in order to make the campus a more inclusive environment for students who previously had gone without necessary care.
Vanderbilt Vice Provost for Learning and Residential Affairs Cynthia Cyrus tells The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1XEOLNvA ) that the change was made after a routine annual review of the university’s health care plan for students.
Vanderbilt’s plan has covered hormone therapy for transgender students for several years.
Nonprofit advocacy group Campus Pride says 71 universities across the country already offer the coverage.
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s insurance policy covers neither transgender-related surgeries nor hormone therapy.
Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black:
Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) responded to Vanderbilt University’s decision to add hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery to its student insurance policy. Black released the following statement:
“Let’s be honest, this decision is not about the health and wellbeing of Vanderbilt University students, it is about the political agenda of liberal university administrators,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Our institutions of higher learning exist to graduate students who are career ready and are prepared to compete in the global economy, not to play politics by providing insurance coverage of medically unnecessary procedures while raking in federal grants. With this stunt, Vanderbilt University has shown itself to be completely out of touch with the values of most Tennesseans and has surely alienated more than a few students, parents, and donors. I’m especially concerned that, by the university’s own admission, this decision was ‘not deeply debated in any way’ – showing just how little thought went in to such a far-reaching policy. For all the advanced degrees that exist among Vanderbilt University’s senior administration, there is a painfully obvious lack of commonsense.”