Health Care — State lawmakers turn focus to care for trans adults

Have you gotten a glimpse of the green comet making its way near us yet? Some lucky stargazers may be able to witness the icy rock over the course of this month as it closes in on our solar system for the first time in more than 10,000 years. 

Today in health, we look at bills coming up in state legislatures with the potential to impact treatment access for transgender adults. 

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Victorian MPs to debate bill to let transgender people change birth certificate without surgery

Despite vocal opposition from the Coalition and a new women’s group, Labor bill looks set to pass parliament

The Victorian parliament is gearing up for a debate over the rights of transgender and non-binary people to be able to choose the gender listed on their birth certificates.

Under current law in Victoria, in order for transgender people to have their birth certificate changed to affirm their gender, they have to have undergone sex affirming surgery, often at great cost. It is something many transgender people do not wish to undertake, it is not covered by Medicare, and often the surgery is not available in Australia.

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Trump administration has now dismantled every major transgender protection it can

The Trump administration announced Friday morning sweeping changes to the rules protecting transgender people from discrimination in health care. Combined with an announcement earlier this week ending gender identity protections in homeless shelters, the administration has now taken steps to exclude transgender people from almost every aspect of public life, including employment, housing, health care, education, prisons, and the military.

The Trump administration has been forecastin...

Transgender Iowans are worried they’ll lose transition-related care under new bill

Iowa is one signature away from enacting a law that would limit transgender people’s access to necessary health care.

The law would allow government entities to opt out of using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, to pay for any kind of transition-related care. This language was tacked on as an amendment to a health and human services appropriations bill late in the process, LGBTQ rights advocates said, without any committee hearings or public comment process. Lawmak...

Iowa Supreme Court sides with two trans women fighting for Medicaid coverage

On Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court effectively struck down Iowa’s ban on Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery. It sided in its unanimous ruling with two transgender women whose healthcare providers said the surgery was necessary to treat their gender dysphoria.

The court agreed with Chief Judge of the Fifth District of Iowa Arthur Gamble’s ruling last year that a decades-old Iowa Department of Human Services policy not allowing Medicaid coverage for sex reassign...

Trump’s plan to ‘defeat AIDS’ lacks ambition

As teased earlier in the week, President Donald Trump pledged in his State of the Union address Tuesday to “eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within ten years.”

Noting incredibly scientific strides, Trump promised, “Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond.”

Following the speech, Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar released additional detail about the strategy, which for the most part, contains core components that...

The Senate has been rushing through judicial confirmations, including many anti-LGBTQ judges

The process by which the Senate confirms federal judges has greatly shifted under President Trump, and the results are greatly endangering the LGBTQ community. A new report from Lambda Legal shows that more than a third of nominees have a documented history of anti-LGBTQ bias, but many are getting rushed across the confirmation finish line to lifetime appointments anyway.

In the past, the Senate has been a bit slow to confirm judges to the federal bench. For example, under the past ...

Transgender women celebrate monumental health care court victory

It was the first case outcome of its kind: a total of $780,000 in damages for two transgender women who were denied medically necessary health care because of their gender identity. It was also likely the first time a court found that facial feminization surgery was medically necessary.

The women now hope that if eight jurors in Wisconsin could be convinced that transgender people deserve access to health care related to their identities, others might be inspired to fight for what t...

Trump administration falsely blames Obama administration for transgender erasure proposal

The Trump administration issued a new response Monday to the New York Times’ report that it is considering a plan to erase transgender people from recognition under federal nondiscrimination laws. This attempt to blame the Obama administration for the current circumstances is not only false, but further undermined by conservative groups’ praise for the news.

In a statement calling the Times’ story “misleading,” Health and Human Services spokesperson Cai...