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    New VA Gender Affirmation Surgery Policy Sitting on Secretary’s Desk

    New VA Gender Affirmation Surgery Policy Sitting on Secretary's Desk

    It's been two years since VA Secretary Denis McDonough announced that the VA would cover gender affirmation surgery for transgender veterans, but to date, the VA has yet to publish regulations that would allow it to providing treatment.

    On Tuesday, McDonough said the holdup was with him — that the policy is on his desk and he is “not yet ready” to roll out the rule under the federal regulatory process that would create the benefit.

    McDonough did not say why he has delayed his decision, just that he is studying all aspects of the proposal and “all the issues associated with it.”

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    “When I make the decision, it will be my job to defend it, and so I want to be in the best position to do that,” McDonough said during a press conference with reporters in , D.C.

    McDonough announced in June 2021 that VA would move to offer surgeries for transgender veterans as part of an effort to provide comprehensive medical care for all veterans and overcome what he described as a “dark history” of discrimination against service members and veterans.

    At the time, he cautioned that the federal rulemaking process would take years, adding that VA would use the time to develop the capability and capacity to perform the requested surgeries.

    Sentiment against transgender rights has been on the rise in some states, state…

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