AP

Vet sues over coverage denial for daughter gender transition

Nov 21, 2022, 12:55 AM | Updated: 4:08 pm

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A U.S. military veteran and his daughter filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging a federal rule they said prevents the daughter from accessing medical coverage because she is transgender.

The veteran and daughter filed their lawsuit against the government anonymously via GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, a Boston-based advocacy group. The group’s court filing said the daughter has been denied treatments recommended by doctors due to a federal statute that dates to 1976 that mandates exclusion of surgical treatments for gender transition in the military’s medical coverage for the dependents of service members.

The statute is an antiquated rule based on outdated views of transgender people, and striking it from the books would be significant for many people seeking to access care, said Ben Klein, an attorney with GLAD.

“We can safely say this is the first time the statute has been challenged. It would affect a huge number of people,” Klein said. “A victory in this case would ensure that all dependents of military personnel who are transgender would have access to the critical medical care they need, free of discrimination of exclusion.”

The defendants in the lawsuit include the U.S. Department of Defense and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The plaintiffs, who live in Maine, filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine in Portland. The lawsuit calls for the exclusion rule to be declared unconstitutional and also states that the plaintiffs want damages.

Representatives for the U.S. Department of Defense declined to comment on the lawsuit and deferred to the U.S. Department of Justice, which would represent the agency in the case. Justice Department representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

The lawsuit states that the veteran served for 23 years in the Marine Corps and Air Force. His daughter is a 21-year-old transgender woman who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and sought gender transition surgery to address the condition, the lawsuit states.

The suit states that the daughter, who is only referred to as Jane Doe, is entitled to receive health care benefits through the military’s TRICARE health plan, which is a program of the Defense Department’s Military Health System. It states that she “has been and continues to be unable to obtain coverage as a TRICARE beneficiary” for gender transition surgery because of the 1976 rule.

The lawsuit states that the daughter has also incurred costs and sought alternative health insurance because of previous improper denials of coverage by the defendants. Her request for coverage of treatments including laser hair removal and electrolysis were previously denied, the lawsuit states.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

5 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

7 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

8 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

8 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

9 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

10 days ago

Vet sues over coverage denial for daughter gender transition