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Colorado ends Medicaid coverage for circumcision

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SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Colorado will end Medicaid coverage for routine circumcisions on July 1.

The measure was announced as part of a package of cuts aimed at balancing the state budget. It is expected to save the state $185,000 a year, according to The Denver Post.

In announcing the measure, Colorado adds its voice to what has become a national debate over the benefits of circumcision, and even whether it should be legal.

In San Francisco, voters this November will consider a ballot proposition that would outlaw male circumcision on anyone under the age of 18. Efforts to get a similar measure on the ballot in Santa Monica, Calif., were withdrawn after its leading proponent cited concerns about the perception that the effort was anti-Semitic.

Last year in Massachusetts, a legislative initiative to ban circumcision never made it out of committee.

Supporters of anti-circumcision efforts say the procedure is a form of genital mutilation that parents do not have the right to inflict on their children’s bodies.

In San Francisco, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Anti-Defamation League, several physicians and Jewish and Muslim families have sued to have the proposal taken off the November ballot.

In other states that have ended Medicaid coverage of the procedure, routine circumcision rates have dropped substantially, The Denver Post reports.

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