Iowa Law Allows Medicaid to Opt-Out From Paying For Sex Reassignment Surgery

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DES MOINES, Iowa — On Friday, May 3, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed HF 766 (the Health and Human Services budget bill) into law. The law includes language that excludes transition-related medical services for transgender and intersex Iowans from certain public insurance policies, including Medicaid.

One Iowa Action Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel condemned the new law in a statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that Gov. Reynolds has ignored medical experts, Iowa business leaders, cost analysis data, and the many transgender Iowans and allies who shared their stories with her to sign this bill into law. She could have line-item vetoed the cruel and outdated language that enshrines discrimination in Iowa law without disrupting HHS services, but chose not to. In doing so, she’s tarnished Iowa’s reputation as a state that stands for fairness and equality.”

The Iowa Supreme Court made clear that the Iowa Civil Rights Act protects transgender Iowans against Medicaid discrimination in their unanimous ruling just over one month ago. In response, a small group of legislators decided to pick and choose who deserves protections under the law, and transgender Iowans were not on their list.

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