From Rep. Dean Fisher’s newsletter:
On Friday, March 8, the Iowa Supreme Court handed down a decision that Iowa’s Medicaid program must pay for Gender Reassignment Surgery. This is a ridiculous reading of Iowa Civil Rights law that will cost Iowa’s taxpayers lots of money. At issue in the case were two men that believe they are women who qualify for Medicaid as low income persons. The court cited the fact that “Gender Identity” is a protected class of citizen under Iowa’s Civil Rights Act, a classification that was added in 2007 when Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and Governors office. Iowa Medicaid law stated explicitly that Gender Reassignment surgery would NOT be covered by Medicaid, the Supreme Court’s decision over rode that law. Gender Reassignment surgery costs roughly $100,000, so the state’s Medicaid system, already strained with ever-increasing costs, is immediately required to spend an additional $200,000 for these two. Surely many more such persons will be demanding these surgeries as well. This will also impact our prisons and other facilities, it will be difficult to house persons that have had their gender physically changed in either a men’s or women’s prison. The House Republicans are reviewing this decision and considering the best way to fight this insane ruling.