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Maloney Reintroduces Legislation to Ban Taxpayer Funded Conversion “Therapy”

Apr 1, 2021
Press Release

Maloney Reintroduces Legislation to Ban Taxpayer Funded Conversion “Therapy”

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, introduced the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act. The bill would prevent Medicaid funds from being used to pay for conversion “therapy” and crack down on misleading billing tactics, which have allowed taxpayer dollars to fund the discredited practice. The bill is cosponsored by 85 members of the 117thCongress. 

“Conversion ‘therapy’ harms thousands of LGBTQ kids every year. It has no legitimate medical application and should not be funded by your taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Maloney. “We must continue to push to ban this practice across the country and pass my bill to ensure the United States government isn’t in the business of subsidizing it.”

Despite being discredited by the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and many other medical and civil rights organizations, thousands of innocent LGBTQ people are subjected to so-called “conversion” or “reparative therapy” each year. "Conversion therapy" attempts to “cure” the sexual orientation of members of the LGBTQ community. This practice damages the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of its participants. According to studies by the UCLA Williams Institute, more than 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to the horrors of “conversion therapy.”

States currently decide which services Medicaid can cover and most have failed to ban the use of funding for conversion “therapy.” Because CMS codes do not mention the model of therapy being applied, even illegitimate practices can be performed and billed. The Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act would take several steps to combat the practice. First, it would legally define “conversion therapy” while ensuring that organizations which provide legitimate support to LGBTQ people are not at risk of losing funding. The bill would also ban the use of Medicaid funding for conversion “therapy” and ensure the practice is not paid for through the use of deceptive billing practices using CMS codes for mental and behavioral health.

The bill has been endorsed by the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), PFLAG National, Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Council for Global Equality (CGE), National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), Third Way, True Colors Fund, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Family Equality Council, National Education Association, AIDS United, Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, and Equality California. 

The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Auchincloss, Aguilar, Barragán, Beatty, Bera, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Brownley, Bush, Carson, Chu, Cicilline, Clark, Cohen, D. Davis, DeGette, DelBene, DeSaulnier, Dingell, Doyle, Espaillat, Foster, Gallego, Grijalva, Hayes, Himes, Houlahan, Jackson Lee, S. Jacobs, Jayapal, H. Johnson, Jones, Kahele, Kildee, Kilmer, Kuster, Larsen, Larson, B. Lee, Levin, Lieu, Lynch, C. Maloney, Manning, Matsui, McCollum, McNerney, Meeks, Meng, Morelle, G. Moore, Moulton, Napolitano, Newman, Norton, O’Halleran, Panetta, Pascrell, Peters, Pingree, Pocan, Pressley, Raskin, Ross, Roybal-Allard, Ryan, Sánchez, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Schiff, Sewell, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Titus, Tlaib, Tonko, R. Torres, Trahan, Wasserman Schultz, Watson Coleman, Welch, Wild, Wilson, Yarmuth.

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