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Eighty-two House Democratic congressmen and one Republican have petitioned Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to reverse the agency’s ban on sex reassignment surgery after a two-month public comment period.
In a letter to Wilkie last week, the representatives wrote that “it is unconscionable to deny veterans the same access to health care services that civilians receive in the private sector, and that is available to Medicare beneficiaries and federal workers, simply because of outdated and unscientific prejudice against their gender identity.”
The article goes on to state the following:
Transgender veterans are currently able to get treatment before and after gender reassignment surgery, but the department will not cover the actual procedure. VA officials have discussed covering the surgery since the idea was first proposed in 2016 under former President Barack Obama and then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter who lifted the ban on transgender people openly serving in the military that year.
Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., is leading the effort to have the policy changed. She said in a statement that it was “unacceptable that we would ask our veterans to risk their lives to protect our rights but we would refuse to defend theirs in return.”
We’ve been collecting your comments, and now a bipartisan group of House members has echoed your calls to ensure the VA allows transgender veterans to get the care their own doctors say they need. We thank each and every Congressmember who signed. https://t.co/2QTXMFo34F
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) September 10, 2018
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