Proposed rule allowing transgender veterans to have sex-change surgery scrapped by DVA
It has been previously reported that there was a rule passed that allows the transgender veterans to have sex-change surgeries. Currently, it has been put down by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
The supposed-to-be rule of allowing transgender veterans to have sex-change surgery has been withdrawn by the DVA. The main purpose of the withdrawal is that the department lacks funding.
In a report by Top Magazine, the DVA said in a statement that, "VA has been and will continue to explore a regulatory change that would allow VA to perform gender alteration surgery and a change in the medical benefits package when appropriate funding is available. Therefore, this regulation will be withdrawn from the Fall 2016 Unified Agenda."
Currently, the DVA still covers mental health care, preoperative evaluation, hormone therapy, and long-term care after a sex reassignment surgery for qualified veterans. It would have changed if the gender reassignment surgery was added to the list of benefits.
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An executive order was issued by President Barack Obama in 2011 that requires all agencies to consider costs into account when proposing changes in rules. The officials clarified that the rejection of the sex-change rule does not mean they are not supporting the change, but the agency must first see plans for the funding.
A former transgender soldier, Leile Ireland shared that the decision is somehow frustrating but not surprising. She said on Military.com that "It's very frustrating to even see or hear that they are doing that because of all the work that many people before me have done."
However, Ireland added that it is still important to keep in mind that even though the officials are changing their minds right now, there is still a way for it to be pursued - everything happens for a reason.