November 15, 2016
Written by Lorra B.
Due to the inability to come up with a cohesive plan to cover the exorbitant cost, the VA has squashed the rule change that would have allowed gender reassignment surgeries.
According to Military.com, the Department of Veteran Affairs covers the expense of mental health care and hormone therapy for the preoperative qualified gender reassignment veterans. “The change would have added gender reassignment surgery to that list.”
The VA stated, “VA has been and will continue to explore a regulatory change that would allow VA to perform gender alteration surgery and a change in the medical benefits package, when appropriated funding is available. Therefore, this regulation will be withdrawn from the Fall 2016 Unified Agenda.”
President of the pro-LGBT Amirian Military Partners Association, Ashley Broadway-Mack, said that the decision is ‘deeply disappointing.’
“All of our nation’s veterans, regardless of their gender identity, deserve access to the medical care they earned serving our nation,” Broadway-Mack said. “This is a deeply disappointing setback in making sure an often medically necessary procedure for transgender veterans is part of that care. Moreover, as we face a new incoming administration, we implore fair-minded Americans to stand united in holding our new administration officials accountable by insisting this be fixed. The medical care of all our nation’s heroes, including transgender veterans, must be a priority.”
Gender reassignment is a very expensive undertaking and, according to the Transgender Law Center, surgeries can be between $25,000 and $100,000. Taxpayers have very mixed feeling on the issue and just how their tax dollar are and should be spent.
In 2011 President Barack Obama made clear that costs were to be taken into consideration when suggesting rule changes. Because the VA did not submit a plan to cover the cost of the reassignment surgeries the rule was scrapped, though plans for funding are still in the works.
No view has been stated by the Trump administration on the issue of government-funded gender reassignment surgeries or their care.
Written by Lorra B.