The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday that Medicaid must cover gender transition surgeries, reasoning that the procedures are medically necessary.
EerieAnna Good and Carol Ann Beal, transgender women backed by the ACLU, had sued the Iowa Department of Human Services for its policy against funding transition surgeries, calling it discriminatory. The DHS had considered transition surgery to be cosmetic without medical purpose.
Iowa Supreme Court Justice Susan Christensen wrote that the DHS' existing "bar on Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgical procedures discriminates against transgender Medicaid recipients in Iowa" under Iowa civil rights laws. In 2007 Iowa legislators added “gender identity” to the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
The Supreme Court's decision was to uphold a lower court ruling to undo the ban, which had been appealed by the state.