Nearly two years ago, I argued that then-incoming VA Secretary Robert Wilkie should expand care to transgender veterans, removing the exclusion of gender confirmation surgery from VA’s medical benefits package. Today, on Transgender Day of Visibility, I am disappointed to report that not only has there been no progress on that front, but recent research conducted by my team at CNAS has identified other shortcomings in VA’s provision of care to transgender veterans. This is particularly concerning since transgender individuals may serve at higher rates.
The VA's Office of Health Equity website shows that under the LGBT Healthcare Equality Index, developed by the Human Rights Campaign, less than half of VA Medical Centers nationwide were classified as “Leaders,” or “Top Performers,” the two highest designations awarded, as of 2019. This is reinforced by what we heard during interviews with stakeholders and veterans. Transgender veterans described encountering barriers in accessing high-quality health care due to their gender identity, including “dealing with medical providers that aren’t receiving necessary training to properly assess issues that you’re going through and provide unnecessary treatments.”
Read the full article in The Hill.
More from CNAS
CommentaryHow Zoom has Reduced Barriers to Entry in National Security
The shift to the virtual environment assists those who may have been overlooked in the past....
By Katherine L. Kuzminski
CommentaryThe Trans Ban Is Gone but More Needs To Be Done
Simply lifting the ban isn’t enough to counteract the discrimination transgender service members and veterans continue to face....
By Nathalie Grogan
CommentaryBiden Inherits a Challenging Civil-Military Legacy
Joseph Biden and his team will inherit a civil-military relationship as tenuous as any in recent memory....
By Jim Golby & Peter Feaver
2020 featured an ever-evolving series of national security challenges....
By Sam Dorshimer, Nathalie Grogan, Emily Jin, Chris Estep & Cole Stevens