Introducing New Influential Players in the Discussion on Transgender Healthcare Expenses

Do No Harm is a nonprofit organization that was founded last year to oppose diversity initiatives in healthcare. The organization has gained momentum in state legislatures across the United States, calling for a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth and developing a model bill based on analysis by the Associated Press. Their website describes the group as a coalition of physicians and activists working to defend healthcare against radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideologies. The organization was founded by Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a nephrologist and professor emeritus who is set to retire in 2021 and incorporate Do No Harm in January 2022.

Originally, Do No Harm focused on race in medical education and employment. However, they have since expanded their focus to include opposition to gender-affirming care for transgender youth. The organization has declined requests for interviews but has released statements explaining their position.

Do No Harm has gained support among conservative medical and political circles and has been registered as a lobbying organization in several states. The group’s executive director, Christina Rasmussen, is a former chief of staff to former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, and director of the Illinois Institute for Policy Studies, a conservative think tank, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Do No Harm has been praised by Republican supporters of bills to limit or ban gender-affirming care, including 18-year-old Chloe Cole, who has spoken to lawmakers as a “patient advocate.” Cole explained that her sex transition began at age 13, but she called off her gender transition at age 16.

Critics have raised concerns about the group’s model bill on gender-affirming care, which has been criticized for using technical medical language that some experts argue is misleading. Dr. Meredith McNamara, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine, has criticized the bill’s use of “false claims about gender dysphoria, standards of care, safety, evidence, and medical authority,” calling it a disinformation strategy.

While Do No Harm has gained support among some in conservative circles, it has also faced criticism from medical professionals and members of the public. Goldfarb’s Wall Street Journal editorial from 2020 on diversity in medical education was criticized by over 150 Penn School of Medicine alumni, and he was the target of an online petition regarding a tweet he made about medical students of color.

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