VA drops proposal to offer sex-change surgeries for transgender veterans
WASHINGTON — Sex-reassignment surgeries for transgender veterans won’t be covered or performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs any time soon.
In a statement Tuesday, the VA cited budget constraints as the reason for dropping its plan to lift a ban prohibiting the surgeries. The agency pulled the proposal from the fall 2016 Unified Agenda, a list published twice each year of potential government regulation changes.
The decision comes as President Barack Obama and political appointees in the VA are preparing to vacate their offices, creating uncertainty about what will happen with the proposal when Donald Trump becomes president.
Earlier this year, Obama ordered public schools to permit transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, and under his administration the Defense Department announced in June that it would allow transgender troops to serve openly.
Trump hasn’t commented on the VA issue. But at a campaign stop in October, he told a political action committee comprised of retired military officers that he wanted to “get away” from a military that was “getting more and more politically correct every day.”
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