Thursday, August 11, 2022

Well We Finally Won One.

The Republicans have been passing laws banning healthcare for trans youth but a court finally said enough!

West Virginia Medicaid Must Cover Cost of Transgender Surgical Care
Judge rules insurance exclusion discriminates against transgender people in violation of federal laws.
By John Riley
August 8, 2022

On Aug. 2, a federal judge ruled that West Virginia’s Medicaid program must cover gender-affirming surgical care for transgender patients.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chambers, of the Southern District of West Virginia, ruled that the insurance exclusion contained in the state’s Medicaid program — which prohibited coverage for gender confirmation surgery to treat gender dysphoria — discriminates against individuals on both their sex and their gender identity. He also issued an order prohibiting the state from attempting to enforce the exclusion by denying coverage to other transgender recipients. 

In the case, known as Fain v. Crouch, Chambers found that such discrimination violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, anti-discrimination provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act, and provisions of the Medicaid Act that require Medicaid to cover medically necessary treatments and require that all Medicaid recipients receive access to the same type of coverage as other recipients. 

YEAH!!!! At last.

But don’t go counting your chickens yet.

“Defendants enacted a clear policy excluding coverage for surgical care of gender dysphoria with no exceptions. This caused an actual, concrete injury to plaintiffs by essentially constructing a discriminatory barrier between them and health insurance coverage,” Chambers wrote in his opinion. “This is not a hypothetical injury.

“Plaintiffs requesting coverage would have been futile due to the exceptionalness exclusion, and the law does not require Plaintiffs to take such futile acts,” Chambers added. “Defendants’ policy was clear — a request for coverage would have been denied under the exclusion. Thus, Plaintiffs have standing.”


The court also certified the lawsuit as a class action suit, meaning Judge Chambers’ findings apply to all transgender West Virginians who participate in the state’s Medicaid program, not just Anderson and Fain as individuals.

You know darn well that this will be appealed and go to the Supreme Court. The Republicans have a trifecta in West Virginia controlling both chambers and the governorship and since they rammed the bill though the legislature they will appeal.

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