State Rep. Terry Meza

Rep. Terry Meza, D-Irving, filed two additional bills to stop conversion therapy from being practiced in Texas. Meza’s bills tackle the legality and permissibility of the therapy itself, as well as insurance reimbursement for the practice.

House Bill 2516 would prohibit any public or private health plan operating or selling policies to Texas consumers from paying for or reimbursing for conversion therapy, whether that therapy is provided by a licensed professional or an unlicensed provider. It would also prohibit the state Medicaid program and Medicaid managed care program from funding conversion therapy.

House Bill 2753 would prohibit any government body — from a local water board to a municipality, county, or the state of Texas — from purchasing any health benefit coverage for its employees that reimburses for or pays for conversion therapy.

House Bill 3196 would ban regulated corporate non-profit entities from offering any type of conversion therapy, whether offered by licensed or unlicensed professionals.

Under Meza’s bill, if a non-profit corporation permits a healthcare provider or unlicensed individual to provide conversion therapy through that entity, the Texas Secretary of State would be allowed to terminate the filing entity. Additionally, any such entity would lose exemption from franchise tax under the Texas Tax Code.

Meza said that absent making the practice illegal in Texas, the best way to reduce its use is to make sure insurance companies cannot pick up the tab for conversion therapy.

Eighteen states — New Mexico, California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Illinois, Virginia, New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Colorado — ban the practice.

Medical, psychiatric and social work organizations all ban the practice and consider it pseudoscience.

— David Taffet