Conservative outlets are having a field day after the Brown Daily Herald reported that, come August, Brown University will pay for sex reassignment surgeries sought by students covered by the school's student health insurance policy. The decision had been brewing for years, according to a school administrator quoted in the story, and given the aggregate cost of reassignment surgeries — which can approach $50,000 — the move should save transgender students a lot of money.
The folks at Fox and Friends started things off Thursday morning when co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade traded locker-room innuendo about transgendered people:
(Note the chyron: "CONTROVERSIAL OPERATIONS".)
Online outlets continued on this note. Over at the Daily Caller, which aggregated the Daily Herald's story, 100+ commenters expressed their disgust for the news. (Excerpt: "The moral of the story is: Don't date anyone from Brown without reviewing medical records.") At the Washington Times, which aggregated the Daily Caller's aggregation of the Daily Herald story, writer Cheryl K. Chumley asked readers, "Looking for a free sex change operation?" (Her answer: "Enroll at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.") Finally, at the National Review Online, blogger Wesley J. Smith drew a tenuous connection to... Obamacare: "Brown is a private college so it should be free to do as it pleases. But does anybody think that one day Obamacare won’t cover the costs associated with sex reassignment?"
The Daily Herald wasn't immune to outraged commenters, either. One noted: "God help us. I guess this is what moral collapse looks like."
These reactions are noteworthy on their own, but also because Brown is far from the first school to implement a student health plan that covers sex reassignment surgery. It's not even the first Ivy League school to do so. Citing a report published by the Human Rights Council, a gay-rights group, the Daily Herald notes that student health plans Harvard, Cornell, and Penn already cover some reassignment procedures.