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
CommentaryWe Got Afghanistan Wrong, but There’s Still Time to Learn Something
Instead of building a force that fit Afghanistan, we built an Army of mini-me’s...
By Dr. Jason Dempsey
PodcastA Veteran's View Of Biden's Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan
Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd speaks with retired Army officer Jason Dempsey about President Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Listen to the full conversation...
By Dr. Jason Dempsey
VideoVirtual platforms drive equity in national security community
Military, Veterans and Society Program Director Katherine Kuzminski joins Government Matters to discuss how virtual platforms drive equity in the national security community. ...
By Katherine L. Kuzminski
Colonel living in MKE reflects on 20-year war in Afghanistan
Christopher Kolenda reflects on the War in Afghanistan in an interview with Fox6 News. Watch the full video from Fox6 News....
By Christopher D. Kolenda