Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a multistate coalition of attorneys general, filed an amicus brief to support equal access to health care for transgender individuals. The amicus brief, filed in Dekker v. Weida, supports a challenge to a newly-adopted Florida rule that prohibits Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming care, which was previously available to transgender individuals.
“Transgender people deserve access to gender-affirming care, and I am committed to fighting discriminatory policies that hinder access to critical health care,” Raoul said. “I will continue to work with my fellow attorneys general to support the rights of transgender people and oppose efforts that jeopardize the safety and health of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Raoul and the coalition argue that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida should reject the Florida rule that categorically excludes Medicaid health care services to individuals who are medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The coalition argues that discrimination against transgender people causes tangible economic, emotional and health consequences. The amicus brief also highlights the efforts of states across the country to protect transgender health care rights, including prohibiting health care discrimination on the basis of transgender identity and ensuring that states apply Medicaid regulations to cover gender-affirming care.
These policies have improved the well-being of transgender people, reducing the risk of substance abuse, depression and other health issues. Transgender people are more likely to experience poverty and difficulty accessing medical services, often relying on Medicaid as their only option for health insurance. The states argue that the Florida rule allows discrimination, and the coalition states’ overwhelming experience shows that gender-affirming care improves health outcomes among transgender people and at minimal cost to the states.
Attorney General Raoul was joined in filing the brief by the attorneys general of California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island.