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Trans military group sues Veterans Affairs to pay for gender-affirming surgeries

Started by Jessica_Rose, April 16, 2024, 01:17:29 PM

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Trans military group sues Veterans Affairs to pay for gender-affirming surgeries

Story by Daniel Villarreal (16 April 2024)

The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) has filed a second lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) because the department's health benefits won't pay for former service members' gender-affirming surgeries.

The TAVA originally sued the VA in early January to force the department to consider its 2016 petition asking the VA to cover the surgeries. VA Secretary Denis McDonough — who said in June 2021 that the VA would soon cover the surgeries — declined to fulfill the petition's request. The VA has seemingly taken no steps toward covering the surgeries; McDonough said the department's rulemaking process would take at least two years to start paying for the procedures.

TAVA's new lawsuit states that the VA's refusal to cover transitional surgeries "defies clear medical consensus" and discriminates based on sex and transgender status, according to The Hill.

"Gender-affirming surgery is not a choice for many transgender individuals — it's often a critical part of our care that healthcare professionals consider medically necessary. Denying us access to these puts our lives at risk," said TAVA Vice President Josie Caballero about the new lawsuit.

"VA's refusal to provide gender-affirming surgery is an affront to the dignity and well-being of transgender veterans," Caballero added. "TAVA will not stand idly by as VA continues to discriminate against and breaks its promises to transgender veterans."

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I am already working on a letter to Joe Biden, upon his re-election, asking him to order his Cabinet Member, Mr. Donough to change the VA regulations immediately.

For reference, Mr. Biden issued two Executive Orders in January 2021 for the military to change regulations regarding harassment or abuse of transgender military and to provide them with gender-affirming care. That was accomplished by March 31, of the same year. It doesn't take years to change regulations. It only requires your boss to make you do it.
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