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Iowa governor signs bill banning Medicaid covering transition-related healthcare

Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. (Image by David Mark from Pixabay)

DES MOINES — Iowa Gov. Kim Reyonlds, a Republican, has signed a bill that would ban the state’s Medicaid from paying for transgender people’s transition-related healthcare.

The GOP-controlled Iowa legislature passed the bill earlier in the week. The law bans any Iowa taxing body from providing gender confirmation surgery surgery. It  reportedly applies to any other cosmetic reconstructive or plastic surgery procedure related to “transsexualism, hermaphroditism, gender identity disorder, or body dysmorphic disorder.”

The law goes into effect immediately.

“We are deeply disappointed that Gov. Reynolds has ignored medical experts, Iowa business leaders, cost analysis data, and the many transgender Iowans and allies who shared their stories with her to sign this bill into law,” said One Iowa Action Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel. “She could have line-item vetoed the cruel and outdated language that enshrines discrimination in Iowa law without disrupting HHS services, but chose not to. In doing so, she’s tarnished Iowa’s reputation as a state that stands for fairness and equality.”

In March, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down an administrative code that banned the payments. Today’s signing puts the ban into law. 

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