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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weird news - Debate about taxpayers paying for a sex change operation

This is the season where there is a lot of pressure to control costs, not to spend in ways that seems excessive and out of control. So when there are cases which show taxpayers money being spent on something that seems outrageous, there can be a lot of resentment about such expenses. Further, there is a section of the population that believes that Governments really do not make too much effort to cut expenses and watch their spending, and that it is only public outrage that causes politicians to make efforts to check the flab in Government spending.
This gets more interesting when this relates to expenses on people who are in jail, since a section of the population would not want excessive money to be spent on such people; after all they have committed some crime or the other and that is why they are in jail. If then there is un-necessary money being spent on them, it is just an example of how Governments do not try to control money. This would be all the more true when you consider the following case where a convict is asking for state money for a sex change operation (link to article):

In a potentially groundbreaking ruling, a federal judge has ordered Massachusetts to let a transgender prisoner undergo a sex-change operation — and make taxpayers foot the bill. In 1993, Kosilek, who then went by Robert, was convicted in the 1990 murder of his wife, Cheryl Kosilek. Also in 1993, Kosilek officially changed his name to Michelle. Diagnosed with severe gender identity disorder, Kosilek has been living as a woman in an otherwise all-male prison in Norfolk, Mass., for the last two decades. Wolf now says that even though his ruling is "unprecedented," the surgery is the only way doctors see to adequately treat Kosilek's condition, and that denying her request would amount to a violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Wolf, who was appointed to the bench in 1985 by Ronald Reagan, writes that the government can't deny an inmate necessary medical treatment just because it is controversial and "unpopular."

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