ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Iowa’s Ban on Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Affirming Surgeries

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DES MOINES, IOWA — The ACLU of Iowa is filing a lawsuit against the state of Iowa again challenging a law that denies Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgeries approved as medically necessary by physicians.

The ACLU is suing on behalf of transgender Iowan Aiden Vasquez. Vasquez’ doctors have approved surgery as a treatment for Vasquez’ gender dysphoria. Vasquez has been denied Medicaid coverage for those surgeries. The ACLU argues that is unconstitutional.

The ACLU formerly challenged the Iowa law in 2019 shortly after it was passed. That lawsuit was dismissed because Vasquez and another Iowan, Mika Covington, had not exhausted their appeals through the Medicaid system before filing suit. Now that Vasquez has been formally denied, the ACLU re-filed its suit. Covington’s appeals to Medicaid are still pending. Covington will join the suit if she is denied as well.

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