Iowa Senate Republicans propose banning the use of Medicaid dollars on transgender surgery


DES MOINES, Iowa – Medicaid payment for transgender surgery would once again be limited in Iowa under a new proposal from Republican state senators.

The proposal would prohibit any state or local government unit or tax-supported district from providing sex reassignment surgery. It applies to any other cosmetic reconstructive or plastic surgery procedure related to “transsexualism, hermaphroditism, gender identity disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder.”

The proposal was introduced Friday on one of the final days of the legislative session. If enacted by the Senate, it would need to go to the GOP-majority House and Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.

The provision is a response to an Iowa Supreme Court ruling in March that was regarded as a landmark decision. The ruling struck down a ban on Medicaid payments for “surgeries for the purpose of sex reassignment.”

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