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Bost co-sponsors bill that would block VA from paying for gender-affirming surgeries

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U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) is a co-sponsor of a bill that would bar Veterans Affairs from paying for or providing gender-confirmation surgery.

The bill, HR 5553, was introduced on Tuesday, Oct. 12, by U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.). If it passed, it would prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from providing or paying for surgical treatment related to gender transition.

Bost was one of 20 co-sponsors and the only Illinois representative to co-sponsor the bill. The most high profile co-sponsor is U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).

Veterans Affairs started offering gender-confirming care in June 2021.

Bost’s office was contacted for comment, but had not responded by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15.

The office of Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) said he opposes any by Republicans to block trans Americans from accessing gender affirming health care services.

“Thankfully, he believes that the majority of his colleagues in Congress agree with him on this and there is little appetite for this legislation,” said Victoria Oms, Quigley’s communications director.

A source familiar with the legislation said the odds of it getting out of committee were very low. The bill was introduced to the Veterans Affairs committee.

Note: Updated with information on the bill in committee.

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