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Published on April 18, 2024
Senate Report Alleges Abuse of Power by GOP Attorneys General Seeking Transgender Patients' RecordsSource: Unsplash/ National Cancer Institute

An explosive report from the Senate Finance Committee is throwing shade at Republican attorneys general from Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, and Texas, claiming they overreached their legal authority in an effort to snag the medical records of transgender patients. The committee, dominated by Democrats, portrayed these moves as a blatant abuse of power with a political twist. According to the NBC News report, the document threw a spotlight on how these officials supposedly twisted Medicaid and health oversight as a weapon against transgender youth and adults.

Four GOP state hotshots, including Tennessee's Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and Texas' Ken Paxton were put on blast in the 10-page read, accusing them of crafting dubious legal premises to intimidate healthcare providers into coughing up sensitive info like unrevised health records. As described by The Washington Blade, the records demanded encompassed everything from photographs of minor's bodies to emails meant for LGBTQIA+ patients.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville found itself caught up in the mess, and inadvertently stoked fear among its transgender patients by giving in to some of the data demands and then mistakenly telling some individuals their medical records were shared when they were not. The NBC News report stated that the center's legal chief, Michael Regier, has come out swinging against the Senate committee's accusations, defending the institution’s compliance with the law and denying any privacy violations.

These alleged strong-arm tactics stemmed from what the top cops called probes into Medicaid misuse and consumer law breaches. But the narrative from the Senate committee argued it's all smoke and mirrors to push a political agenda, The Hill pointed out. In the vein of a McCarthy-era witch hunt, it's claimed that the AGs have targeted hospitals and their policies on transgender care, an assertion that has not gone unchecked. "There is no political exception to our fraud laws and we will continue to investigate as the evidence demands, regardless of a doctor’s ideology," Tennessee AG spokesperson Amy Lannom Wilhite told The Hill, buffing the political frame job theory.

Reports are leaking out of patients being besieged by suicidal thoughts and mental health crises following the news their private records may have been exposed. Meanwhile, a school of thought, signified through institutions like St. Louis's Washington University School of Medicine, is standing its ground, refusing to hand over records and set to duke it out in court over patient privacy issues.