California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has joined a friend-of-the–court brief supporting transgender rights for veterans in the case Fulcher v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The brief defends a veteran’s right to health care coverage from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) for medically necessary care such as sex reassignment surgery.
“It is unacceptable for the federal government to discriminate against our transgender veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our country, by denying them coverage for necessary medical care,” said Attorney General Becerra.
“In California, we make sure medically necessary care is covered because no veteran should be unable to receive care their physician says is critical. Across the country, the least we can do for veterans is provide the health coverage they need,” he said.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to ensuring that California veterans are treated equally when seeking medically necessary services from the VA.
This case presents an issue of public health and transgender equity, as this is the first time an appellate court will address transgender rights to health care outside of the prison context. California state law prohibits discrimination by private insurers. In fact, it provides such coverage for procedures like sex reassignment surgery through Medi-Cal and CalPERS.
Becerra joined the attorneys general of Washington, Connecticut, Hawai’i, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont and the District of Columbia in filing the amicus brief.
A copy of the brief filed is available at oag.ca.gov/news