Argument fearmongering about Florida ‘Reverse Woke Act’ contradicts itself throughout

February 22, 2023

By Tim Worstall

A new bill proposed in Florida dubbed the “Reverse Woke Act” is detailed in a Vice piece this week that fails to adhere to basic logic.

Vice seems to think that it’s some gross attack on trans rights. At the same time, the outlet wants to tell us that it’s of no importance at all and is entirely trivial. Logic does rather insist that it’s one or the other, not both at the same time. That is our point here – we really should be holding the media to these standards of being able to do basic logic.

The proposed law itself says that if employer-funded health care has paid for transition then – if and only if – de-transition is later desired then that same employer-funded health care should pay for that too. We have no view on the value of this as a piece of law and have a certain suspicion that it is being proposed as a provocation.

But about this law Vice tells us first:

A GOP lawmaker in Florida introduced a bill that will force businesses that pay for gender-affirming care to also pay for subsequent detransitions, in a bid to further restrict access to life-saving healthcare for transgender people.

One possible thought is that if people know that mistakes will be rectified – to the extent that they can be – then they will be more likely to gain access to such healthcare. Rather than it being a restriction.

If passed, the legislation could dissuade businesses from supporting their trans workers, experts say, and follows a long and relentless GOP-backed attack on trans rights.

That’s arguable, certainly, whether being financially responsible for the costs of reversing trans health care – again, to the extent this is possible – would be a restriction or not. But it’s this next part that makes a mockery of the first:

De-transitioning is also extremely rare, with studies showing that an average of 97 percent of trans people say they’re happy with their transition. Of the people who voice some regret, even fewer actually reverse their transitions, and those who do usually do it because of stigma and societal pressures from family, school, or work—not because they themselves want to de-transition.

OK, so de-transition almost never happens so being responsible for the cost of something that almost never happens isn’t going to be an incentive – a disincentive – to anything at all, is it?

It’s not possible for both claims to be true. It is possible that being responsible for de-transition costs will be a disincentive to covering transition costs. It is possible that de-transition almost never happens and so is a triviality as far as cost is concerned.


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