3. POLICY: It is VHA policy that medically necessary care is provided to enrolled or otherwise eligible intersex and transgender Veterans, including hormonal therapy, mental health care, preoperative evaluation, and medically necessary post-operative and long-term care following sex reassignment surgery. Sex reassignment surgery cannot be performed or funded by VHA or VA.
According to the June 9 2011 VHA DIRECTIVE 2011-024 “PROVIDING HEALTH CARE FOR TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX VETERANS” the VA is directed to diagnose, offer therapy and hormones but the VA is specifically ordered not to perform or pay for surgery.
That’s like doing everything for a terminal cancer patient except remove the cancer!
Why not fix the plumbing?
According to the Transgender American Veterans Association “The VA is prohibited from accomplishing what is termed Gender Alteration, Gender Reorientation, or Genital Identity Revision. The last term effectively rules out even intersex corrective surgery.”
[CITE: 38CFR17.38] Code of Federal Regulations Title 38, Chapter 17, Section 38.c)
How do we change that regulation?