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Read the article to get an insight into the latest Iowa news regarding gender-affirming surgery.

The American Civil Liberties Union Files Lawsuit Demanding That the Medicaid Surgery Ban Be Reversed

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has filed a lawsuit demanding the abolishment of the law that refuses Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgery to transgender citizens of the state.

This lawsuit is aimed towards a particular clause in the health budget bill that was passed by lawmakers in April. It revises the Civil Rights Act of the state, that enables organizations using public insurance funds, such as Medicaid, to choose not to cover the procedure.

The mentioned provision was passed only a few weeks after the State Supreme Court had made a decision to forbid using Medicaid funds for transition-related surgery under the Civil Rights Act of the state. 

According to Rita Bettis-Austen, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, the provision was a reaction to the decision of the State Supreme Court.

As stated by Bettis-Austen, Governor Reynolds personally stated that the goal was to go back to the previous policy of the state, that had been valid for the past twenty years before certain decisions were made, and specifically made a reference to the one in question.

The lawsuit was filed in support of the rights of the LGBTQ community “One Iowa” and two transgender individuals from the state.

The executive director of “One Iowa,” Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, stated that Governor Reynolds and the Iowa legislature had taken rather drastic steps in terms of discrimination, by denying healthcare to transgender citizens of the state. He added that they had ignored the competence of eminent medical professionals.

Certain medical associations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association, have proclaimed the gender-affirming surgery essential.

The health bill signed by Governor Reynolds became effective on May 3.

The governor’s spokesperson, Patrick Garrett, published a statement claiming that the State of Iowa would defend the provision.

According to him, the government would collaborate with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office in order to defend the provision in question. As claimed by him, the goal was to clarify that the Civil Rights Act of the state required no taxpayer funds to cover gender-affirming surgery and other such surgeries, which had been the position of the states for years. 

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