The Department of Veterans Affairs will now provide sex-change operations to veterans and service people who request them, even as the number of veterans in need of medical care for actual service-related life-threatening issues balloons due to lack of doctors and budget.
I was humbled to visit @DeptVetAffairs @OVAHCS on Saturday to deliver remarks commemorating #Pride2021, the 5th anniversary of the #Pulse nightclub massacre, and to enthusiastically announce VA’s intention to provide gender confirmation surgery for transgender Veterans. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/ACCrCu8Hqv
— Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (@SecVetAffairs) June 21, 2021
The VA did not provide information on how much the surgeries will cost, but according to the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, there are numerous treatments available for male-to-female and female-to-male surgeries that can add up to between $100,000 and $200,000.
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, it is estimated there are about 134,000 transgender veterans in the United States and over 15,000 trans people currently serving in the military.
There are an estimated 19 million veterans overall in the United States.
The big question this announcement creates is what about the veterans who have been unable to get treatment for cancer or other life-threatening medical or mental health issues due to their service?
The number of veterans waiting to see a doctor continues to grow.
One example alarming example comes from North Georgia.
“The number of North Georgia veterans who had not gotten a response from the Atlanta VA Health Care System more than 30 days after applying for such help ballooned from about 6,700 last September to more than 18,000 in early May,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, citing an internal VA document.
“Also stacking up: The total number of area veterans who have applied for an outside doctor or have seen one and are waiting for VA staff to collect all the test results and paperwork to close out the case,” the report went on.
“There were 25,000 of them last September. There are more than 37,000 now”
This is happening all across our nation.
After the VA’s announcement, I reached out to Republican Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois, the ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Since the Biden administration took over, I have asked for vital information so that we can calculate the number of veterans who have been exposed to toxic agents during their service and how we can help them,” he said.
“I have tried for months now to get a response from Secretary McDonough or anyone in the Biden administration. To date, they have been unable to provide that information, but yet they can find time to make ‘gender affirming’ operations available for veterans even though it has nothing to do with an actual injury incurred during service.
“My question is, where is this money for these operations going to come from? Are we going to take it from the veteran who actually lost a limb, or an eye, or has PTSD?”
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