DES MOINES, Iowa — A state judge has ruled that the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) cannot exclude gender dysphoria-related operations from Medicaid coverage, asserting that “medical thinking and Iowa law have changed,” and that the state regulation that prohibited coverage for such operations “has not kept pace with law and medicine.”
“The outdated medical evidence that formed the basis for the adoption of the regulation does not permanently validate it,” opined Chief District Judge Arthur Gamble.
“As petitioners proved, the medical consensus now holds that sex reassignment surgery is sometimes medically necessary and addresses far more than just the psychological aspects of gender dysphoria. It is the standard of care for the treatment of the biological components of gender dysphoria. Therefore, the court does not find DHS’ argument persuasive,” he wrote.
Two men, who go by the names Carol Ann Beal and EerieAnna Good, had sued the Iowa DHS in September after their doctors were informed that Medicaid would not cover procedures to remove their male reproductive organs. Under the Iowa Administrative Code, DHS prohibits coverage of cosmetic, reconstructive or plastic surgeries “primarily for psychological reasons or as a result of the aging process” or “for the purpose of sex reassignment.”
Beal and Good, with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the testimony of their doctors, argued that their surgeries were “medically necessary,” advising the court that they struggle with depression and anxiety due to their gender dysphoria.
“This surgery is not just
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