Iowa Supreme Court rules transgender patients can use Medicaid for transition-related care


USA Today 
by Courtney Crowder
March 8, 2019


DES MOINES, Iowa – Transgender Iowans can use Medicaid funds to pay for transition-related care, including surgeries, according to a unanimous Iowa Supreme Court ruling Friday.

The court’s decision strikes down the administrative code governing Medicaid in Iowa that classifies transition-related surgeries as “cosmetic, reconstructive or plastic surgery” and explicitly bans “surgeries for the purpose of sex reassignment.” The justices agreed with a district judge’s ruling that the rules contradicted protections in the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

That law’s “gender identity classification encompasses transgender individuals — especially those who have gender dysphoria — because discrimination against these individuals is based on the nonconformity between their gender identity and biological sex,” Justice Susan Christensen wrote for the court.

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