State of Alaska considers paying for transgender hormones


    As the result of federal litigation, the Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services is considering a change to its regulations, which would allow the state to begin providing public funding for powerful hormonal therapy and other non-surgical procedures related to transgender reassignment.

    The state is soliciting public comment on the proposed changes until April 6.

    Current state regulations prohibit Alaska from using state Medicaid funds to pay for any “treatment, therapy, surgery, or other procedures related to gender reassignment.” If the state adopts the changes it could begin funding non-surgical transgender services for gender confused Alaskans who wish to look and present as the opposite sex. The regulation changes would not allow for state-funded transgender surgery.

    According to the Mayo Clinic website, non-surgical gender reassignment services typically include hormones that either “maximize feminization or masculinization.” Hormones can also minimize breasts or facial hair to enable a person to appear as the opposite sex.

    Non-hormonal treatments include counseling to instruct a person on how to publicly come out, how to be comfortable expressing their new gender identity, and how to develop vocal characteristics matching their preferred gender expression. Additional non-surgical services include breast binding, breast padding and aesthetic services, such as makeup application or wardrobe consultation.

    Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, called it child abuse to promote transgender therapies for children.

    A notice from Medicaid Specialist Susan Dunkin states that the regulation change is proposed by the Alaska Department of Law and is being considered due to an “internal program review as a result of federal litigation.” Questions sent both to the Department of Health and the Department of Law seeking more details were not answered as of press time.


    Transgender hormones are a highly controversial topic in the medical field, especially as they relate to children and teens.

    Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, called it child abuse to promote transgender therapies for children. In a speech given at the Heritage Foundation last October she spoke of dangers associated with the practice.

    “Chemical castration is what you’re doing when you put any biologically normal child on puberty blockers,” Cretella was quoted in a LifeSiteNews article. “It’s treating puberty like a disease, arresting a normal process which is critical to normal development.”

    Dr. Cretella added that medical professionals who promote these treatments on confused youth are engaging in “experimentation on children.” She observed that gender confusion is common in preadolescents and adolescents and usually resolves after puberty.

    Men on hormone therapy to “transition” to women were more than 46 times more likely to suffer from breast cancer.

    Transgender hormonal treatment for adults is also controversial.

    The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that just one in every 1,000 men is ever diagnosed with breast cancer. However, according to a May 2019 study in the British Medical Journal, men on hormone therapy to “transition” to women were more than 46 times more likely to suffer from breast cancer. Similarly, gender-confused women taking testosterone to “transition” to men were almost 60 times more likely to develop breast cancer. The study followed 2,260 gender-confused men and 1,229 gender-confused women.

    Following the public comment period, the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services will either adopt the changes, without further notice, or decide to take no action.

    Public comment on the proposed changes can be sent to Susan Dunkin at the Dept. of Health & Social Services.


    Emailed comments can be sent to, but must be received no later than 5 p.m. on April 6.

    Written comments may be mailed to:

    Attn: Susan Dunkin

    Department of Health & Social Services, Division of Health Care Services

    4501 Business Park Blvd., Building L

    Anchorage, AK 99503.

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    Joel Davidson
    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

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