Judge: State must provide Medicaid patients body-altering surgeries

A state judge has released an opinion requiring the Medicaid system in the state of Iowa to pay for body-altering surgeries for people who are transgender.

Those with a dysphoria in which they believe themselves to be of the sex that does not align with their physical characteristics are insisting on surgeries that would make them appear the gender they choose.

Scientifically, of course, a human cannot change sex since that is embedded in the body down to the DNA level.

However, many people still insist on the body mutilations, as they are often described since they remove or change otherwise healthy body parts.

Courthouse News explained the case was brought by plaintiffs Aiden Vasquez and Mika Covington.

They accused of Iowa Department of Human Services of denying them payments for their surgical procedures, because the state department policy – and the Iowa Civil Rights Act – both explicitly deny that coverage.

Their complaint said the decision was “discriminatory.”

It is Polk County District Court Judge William Kelly in Des Moines who agreed.

He said the policy and state law are unconstitutional – based on the Iowa Constitution’s provision for equal protection.

State officials were reviewing the ruling, and no decision had been made whether through would be an appeal.

“This is a historic win for civil rights in Iowa. It recognizes what we’ve long known, that transgender Iowans must not be discriminated against, and that they are protected by the Iowa Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, as well as by the Iowa Civil Rights Act,” Rita Bettis Austen, of the ACLU of Iowa, said.

The judge found, based on testimony from physicians testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs, that such surgery is “medically necessary.”

Courthouse News reported, “The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the state’s denial of coverage of sex-change surgeries for transgender Medicaid violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act. The GOP-controlled Iowa Legislature promptly responded with an amendment to the Civil Rights Act that said: ‘This section shall not require any state or local government unit or tax-supported district to provide for sex reassignment surgery or any other cosmetic, reconstructive, or plastic surgery procedure related to transsexualism, hermaphroditism, gender identity disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder.'”

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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