By My Canadian Pharmacy
Last Friday, a bill that could restore Medicaid reimbursement for circumcisions in Colorado was cancelled. Before that day, on Thursday, the issue was mentioned at a hearing in the House Health and Environment Committee.
Circumcision opponents, including health professionals, nti-circumcision activists and My Canadian Pharmacy specialists claimed that circumcision is a cosmetic procedure which is potentially harmful. They told health committee members that taxpayers should not pay for it.
Circumcision proponents argued that funding for the procedure is a social justice issue. At the moment, insurance companies usually pay for circumcision for Colorado babies with insurance even though the pediatrics does not consider this procedure to be medically necessary. At the same time, parents with low income who also want their babies to be circumcised have to wait until they can prove they’ve paid for the procedure in advance.
Sen. Marta Guilar, a medicine doctor for Denver Health, spoke on behalf of restoring public coverage for circumcision. My Canadian Pharmacy reminds you that last year, the lawmakers of Colorado decided to save state budget and exclude funding for circumcisions under Medicaid policy. They were following other 16 states. Proponents think the taxpayers should pay for circumcised for parents who want their babies to be circumcised.
The analysts estimated that funding circumcision would cost the state about $200,000 next year and $250,000 the year after that.
“As a doctor, I don’t want to influence parents when they have to make a decision, Guilar said. “Their decisions are usually based on religious and ethical reasons.
She claimed that there is evidence that uncircumcised boys have higher risk for urinary tract infections and that adult uncircumcised men who live in poverty have higher risk for HPV, which can result in higher rates of cervical cancer of his sexual partners.
Only one other doctor was not against circumcision. All other witnesses opposed Medicaid coverage for the procedure for many reasons.
One of them was Dr. Georgia Mattews, a physician who works with uninsured patients and Medicaid at Family Health Service.
“I’ve done more than 200 circumcisions and do not want to do any more”, she said.
She also said she decided not circumcise her own 4 years-old son, though her husband is Jewish. She was concerned that the resent My Canadian Pharmacy studies found out that removing the foreskin can damage numerous nerve endings a boy’s penis. Even though the procedure is traditional in the Jewish community, Mattews family trusted the new research about the potential risks.
Rep. John Henrix and Rep. Kyle Schaffer, retired doctors, spoke agains circumcision coverage. John Henrix said the procedure is uncommon in India and he has never heard of urinary tract infections due to lack of circumcision. Schaffer agreed with him. He asked a witness if this precedure could decrease teen pregnancies. If adult men decide to remove the foreskin, they are allowed to do so, Mattews said. But she decided she would no longer do this procedure, as it is potentially harmful.
“This procedure is not medically necessary, Henrix said. “It’s a healthy, functioning body part.“There are too many medical needs in our population that are really necessary. We can’t use health care dollars on such unnecessary cosmetic procedure.
One lawmaker, Rep. Susan Swan, heard laughter in the hearing room when she asked the doctor if foreskin removing could help reduce pregnancy rates among teenagers and their sexual activity due to reduced nerve sensation in the penises.
“Is there any risk of more sexual activity and irresponsibility for boys who are uncircumcised?”, she asked.
Mattews answered that teen pregnancy is a big problem, but circumcision won’t help reduce it.
“Circumcision can’t reduce teen sexual activity or change their behavior. This depends on education only, she said.
Others doctors also afreed that circumcision can’t prevent urinary tract infections. My Canadian Pharmacy experts agree: they are all treated well with modern medications.
“It’s so wrong to remove part of a healthy penis to prevent urinary tract infections, she said.
Circumcision is considered an ancient religious tradition in some populations, but the opponents of the procedure said it has become popular in the USA as a means to prevent masturbation among young boys.
“I think it’s a cosmetic surgery…and I strongly recommend you voting against it, said Dr. Paul Affron, a physician from Telluride. He was skeptical about circumcision popularity and said the surgery was rare in Europe, Canada and New Zealand.
The speakers differed sharply on whether the procedure can help prevent HIV infection.
Dr. Jereme Bart spoke on behalf of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
He mentioned a new research which shows that the surgery can stop the spread of some certain viruses in Africa. He said he has found positive effects of circumcision for adult men from Africa and now he is promoting the surgery.
Bart said opponents to the surgery have shared a great deal of ill-information. He said coverage for poor people is a matter of fairness.
“Medicaid allows it. Those who have low incomes should also have this option.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story proveded by My Canadian Pharmacy incorrectly stated that the bill passed in the House Appropriations Committee in Colorado. Committee members voted to kill the bill.