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Thu Aug 6, 2020, 12:01 AM

Battle over Medicaid coverage for transgender Iowans hits roadblock

The yearslong battle over transgender Iowans’ right to use Medicaid funds for transition-related care hit a roadblock Wednesday when the Iowa Court of Appeals tossed a lawsuit challenging a 2019 law that allows the state to deny that coverage.

The lawsuit, brought by the ACLU of Iowa on behalf of transgender Iowans Mika Covington and Aiden Vasquez, sought to overturn a law passed in the waning days of the 2019 session that allows government entities to opt out of using public insurance dollars, including Medicaid, to pay for transition-related surgeries.

The court didn't affirm that law in dismissing the case. Rather, it said Covington and Vasquez had not yet been denied coverage under that law, so "any dispute is speculative until a denial occurs."

The 2019 provision, included in the health budget bill, was added in response to an Iowa Supreme Court decision in March 2018 that ruled Iowa’s longtime ban on using Medicaid funds for transition-related care was discriminatory under Iowa Civil Rights Act’s gender-identity protections.

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2020/08/05/iowa-appeals-court-tosses-lawsuit-medicaid-transgender-iowans/3300317001/

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