One major impetus for new policy, according to Dr. Brady, was to send a message to state lawmakers that circumcision should be an option for all families. Currently, Medicaid programs in 18 states in the U.S. do not provide coverage for routine circumcision of infant boys, and so “families who could not afford it were having the decision made for them,” says Dr. Brady.
In fact, over time, a higher circumcision rate might actually save money. A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins found that not circumcising would result in an average of $313 per person in related health costs over a lifetime – an extra $2 billion at current circumcision rates. However, opponents of circumcision may take issue with taxpayer dollars being used to pay for a procedure they find immoral.
Despite the AAP’s recommendation, universal coverage is unlikely to be a reality any time soon, as states look for ways to cut back. “I’m concerned 2012 is not the best environment for getting state lawmakers add additional health care costs to Medicaid,” says Dr. Brady.