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Circumcision Incidence in Mississippi

Authors:
  • Doctors Opposing Circumcision
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Abstract

The state of Mississippi Division of Medicaid has not covered non-therapeutic circumcision for more than 20 years, however Mississippi does not collect statistics on the incidence of non-therapeutic child circumcision. This short paper collects known facts and makes informed estimates of the incidence of non-therapeutic circumcision in Mississippi where facts are lacking. It concludes that cessation of third-party payment for non-therapeutic circumcision is an economical and cost-effective way of improving the health of boys.
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Circumcision Incidence in Mississippi
George Hill*
The incidence of non-therapeutic circumcision in Mississippi is unknown because the state
does not collect statistics. This short paper is an attempt to estimate the incidence of non-therapeu-
tic circumcision in Mississippi.
The economy of Mississippi largely is based on agriculture and timber. The state is only
slightly industrialized. The per capita income is the lowest in the nation.
1
Mississippi is considered
to be the poorest state in the Union by some estimates.
The population is reported to be 59 percent white, 37 percent black, and the remainder in
various other races.
2
The total population is just under 3 million or less than 1 percent of the U. S.
population.
3
The Mississippi Division of Medicaid (MDM) does not cover non-therapeutic infant cir-
cumcision
4
and has not done so since 1998.
5
MDM covers pregnant women with incomes up to
194 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).
6
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) reported
that in 2017, MDM financed 67 percent (2/3s) of the births in Mississippi (second only to New
Mexico’s 71 percent). The remaining 33 percent (1/3) presumably are financed by private insur-
ance or paid out of pocket.
Mississippi does not collect statistics on the number of boys being circumcised, so now we
enter into speculation. After more than two decades of non-coverage of non-therapeutic circumci-
sion and due to low income, the public seems to be reconciled to and accepting of non-coverage.
Therefore, I estimate that only 3 percent of the boys born under Medicaid are circumcised out-of-
pocket.
67% X .03 = 2.01%
This would mean that of the 67 percent of boys born under Medicaid, 64.99% remain intact.
The 33 percent of boys not born under Medicaid apparently are born to families in a higher
income level so that private insurance or personal financing would be available to pay for a non-
therapeutic circumcision if desired by the parents. The overall incidence of new-born non-thera-
peutic circumcision in the United States is believed to be about 55 percent. Applying that figure to
the 33 percent of boys born in Mississippi produces these results:
33% X .55 = 18.15%
1
Wikipedia q.v. Mississippi.
2
Ibid.
3
Ibid.
4
Circumcision Resource Center. Medicaid funding for circumcision.
5
AACU, Medicaid coverage of newborn circumcision.
6
MDM. Who qualifies for coverage.
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We see that apparently an estimated 18.15 percent of all boys are circumcised privately,
while an estimated 14.85 percent of Mississippi boys remain intact.
Circumcised Intact
Medicaid births 2.01% 64.99%
Non-Medicaid births 18.15% 14.85%
Totals 20.16% 79.84%
These figures, which are speculative, would place Mississippi among the states with the
highest incidence of intactness among younger males (born since 1998). Mississippi would be the
fifth highest state on the intactness scale.
7
The estimated figures for Mississippi are consistent with
actual figures obtained from other states where Medicaid has not covered non-therapeutic circum-
cision for some years.
8
Depending on the accuracy of the assumptions, these figures may indicate that cessation of
Medicaid payments and other third-party payments is a highly effective way to reduce the inci-
dence of harmful non-therapeutic circumcision and to improve male health and well-being.
9
The foreskin has a variety of protective, immunological, sensory, and sexual physiological
functions.
10
Paradoxically, those boys born into low-income families in Mississippi are much more
likely than boys born into wealthier families to get the benefits of having a natural, complete penis,
with all of its functions unimpaired.
9 April 2021
*George Hill, ATR, CFI, is associated with Doctors Opposing Circumcision.
7
World Population Review. Circumcision Rates by State 2021
8
Ibid.
9
Green LW, McAllister RG, Peterson KW, Travis JW. Medicaid coverage of circumcision spreads harm to
the poor. AJPH 2009 April; 99(4):584.
10
Intact Australia. Functions of the foreskin.
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