|Trans US veterans to be offered gender surgery for the first time. (Photo by= Getty Images)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] The US government has announced it will offer gender confirmation surgery for transgender veterans through its health care coverage for the first time. BBC reported that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary Denis McDonough announced the change at a Pride event in Florida.
He said it would allow veterans to go through the full process "with VA at their side". Previously hormone therapy and mental health services were covered but not surgery. Gender confirmation surgery, also known as sex reassignment surgery, covers a range of procedures that alter a person's anatomy to match their gender identity. The agency provides preventative care services like examinations, immunization and education, hospital services like kidney dialysis, severe illness, and organ transplants, and emergency care. However, some services are not covered, including abortion, abortion counseling, and cosmetic surgeries, according to the website of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He added that the VA would work to overcome a "dark history" of discrimination against trans veterans. A spokesman said the two-year process to start covering the surgeries would begin this summer. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump banned trans Americans from serving in the military in his first year in office. President Joe Biden repealed the ban in January.