In the old days when someone wanted to pay for a sex change operation they just robbed a bank. But now insurance companies are paying for procedure, at least in the case of Queens resident Ida Hammer, whose insurance company has finally agreed to pay for her male-to-female genital reassignment surgery. OBAMA!

MVP Health Care at first balked at paying for Hammer's surgery, arguing that it was "not medically necessary" and fell into the "cosmetic surgery" exclusion in their plan. But Hammer was determined, and enlisted the help of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, which successfully argued that Hammer's "Gender Identity Disorder" is characterized by the AM as a "serious medical condition" that if left untreated "can result in clinically significant psychological distress, dysfunction, debilitating depression, and, for some people without access to appropriate medical care and treatment, death."

After denying two appeals, MVP reversed its decision and will provide full coverage for the procedure, which usually costs around $20,000 not including follow-ups and therapy. "My insurance company should not be second-guessing my doctors," says a victorious Hammer. "I’m relieved that it is finally treating me fairly and covering the health care I need."