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Medicaid to reconsider coverage of male circumcision adult content

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Medicaid policymakers intend to readdress inclusion of circumcision following Monday's endorsement of the procedure by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

State lawmakers nixed the procedure from the Medicaid formulary in 2003, as removal of a male infant's penile foreskin was then seen as elective and therefore cosmetic surgery. The state stood to save more than $350,000 annually by eliminating the procedure.

The academy now states, with further evaluation, "the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks," and such benefits "justify access to this procedure for families who choose it."

The issue will definitely "make its way onto their agenda," Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko said regarding the state's Medicaid Policy Committee. Any recommendation to change current policy would have to pass the Legislature and receive a funding nod from the state's top lawmakers.

"The new report will certainly generate that discussion," Hudachko said, adding that officials will carefully review the presumed benefits and costs of circumcision before making a recommendation.

Hudachko said eliminating all but necessary procedures saved about $470,000 per year.

The circumcision rate dropped significantly in the year following the legislative move, from 60.3 percent to 52 percent statewide, according to inpatient hospital discharge data compiled by the state health department.

According to a 2010 Medicaid report, circumcision is one of the most common procedures submitted for prior authorization. That year, the statewide rate of circumcisions was 38.8 percent, Utah's lowest reported rate.

The rates are under-reported, Hudachko said, adding that numbers only include inpatient hospital procedures. Some infants are circumcised at various pediatric clinics within their first weeks of life.


What are your thoughts? Should tax payers pay for this?


Asked by LostSoul88 at 11:09 AM on Aug. 28, 2012 in Parenting Debate

Level 40 (119,496 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • We, Jews have been circumcising our boys for over 5700 years and we still continue to thrive. If performed properly by a mohel there has never been a problem. They are following the age old procedure and it hasn't changed in almost 6000 years.

    Answer by robinkane at 11:20 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • I miss the downvote at the moment. My son's are MY children and I will make their decision until they are old enough to do so. A woman can choose to abort a child (beating heart and all) but cannot choose whether to cut their skin or not? BS. I do not have a strong opinion on circumcision either way, I have one child that is and one that is not, neither have problems.


    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 11:53 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • We should pay for abortion but not circumcision which CAN be medically necessary? This is stupid and yet another decision that the government has no part in mandating, (for or against). Medicaid is medical insurance and should cover standard medical procedures, circumcision is a standard procedure.


    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 11:21 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • "Jews have been circumcising our boys for over 5700 years and we still continue to thrive"

    And most of the rest of the world has not been circumcising their boys and continue to thrive too ... :)

    Answer by winterglow at 11:52 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • "Circumcisions are totally unnecessary and cosmetic in nature, there is no reason for tax payers to be paying for it."

    The thing is it's preventative, not cosmetic. And unnecessary doesn't mean useless. And that's the point. If the medical organization in charge of making policy is saying that the benefits outweigh the risks, then how can it be "cosmetic"? And if it's prophylactic, then why shouldn't it be covered?


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 9:36 PM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • I agree, if abortion can be funded, why can't circumcision, which DOES show to have benefits? Shouldn't it be every parents' choice? The only one we're accountable to is our children - if my son grows up happy with my decision what business is it if anyone else's? I'm making a medical choice for my child, same as choosing to vax, etc.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:24 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • circumcision is not necessary. We shouldn't be paying for it. My son was not snipped and 11 years later we have had ZERO issues. As long as the child is properly cleaned,there won't be any issues

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:27 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • Given that abortion is funded when a woman makes a decision for HER body then doesn't it stand to reason that the man should have the right to that decision and not have it taken out of his hands by his parents? It's HIS body.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:29 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • So that's nearly half a million dollars per annum of easy money that pedis weren't getting their hands on. Hmmm ... I wonder why they changed their minds...

    Answer by winterglow at 11:50 AM on Aug. 28, 2012

  • Personally I don't think any given male is better off circumcised or not. Sometimes it becomes medically necessary to circumcise in which case yes I think it should be covered. But in other cases circumcision goes horribly wrong where it would have been better to have not had it done. I don't think there is a right or wrong choice, it's simply a personal decision. WIth that said, and the fact that I don't think it's beneficial or necessary in the beginning, no I do not think it should be covered through medicaid. And like I said if it BECOMES medically necessary or even if the doctor thinks it will be, then yes it should be covered. But I don't think it should be standard coverage anymore than I think breast reduction or liposuction, etc. should be UNLESS it becomes medically necessary.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 12:23 PM on Aug. 28, 2012