Congress Narrowly Rejects Anti-Trans Military Amendment

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis meets with Lars L√łkke Rasmussen the prime minister of Denmark at the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen Denmark

Ian Thompson, legislative representative for the American Civil Liberties Union said the Hartzler Amendment is meant to discriminate against transgender members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families by barring them from receiving medically necessary health care.

The House of Representatives is poised to vote today on an amendment to prohibit transgender military service members and military dependents from receiving appropriate medical care.

A Missouri Congresswoman is seeking to bar federal funding from being used for healthcare related to transgender servicembers' unique healthcare needs, a discriminatory and unconstitutional move.

"My amendment ends the 2016 Obama Administration practice of the military paying for very expensive gender change surgeries that even most private insurance plans don't cover".

Why exactly Mattis called Hartzler on Thursday to urge her to withdraw the amendment is unclear; however, in his statement to Task & Purpose said, Michael seemed to suggest that if transgender troops are allowed to serve openly, Mattis will ensure that they can do so without suffering any form of prejudice.

Hartzler has claimed allowing transgender people into the military saddles taxpayers with medical costs of up to $3.5 billion.

Medicare started covering gender reassignment surgery in 2014, after a decades-long ban, in response to a lawsuit filed by a transgender woman who was also a veteran. "Transgender Americans, in uniform or not, deserve better than this hateful amendment from those elected to represent them". While Hartzler argued that there is still a "lack of medical consensus on the effectiveness of gender transition treatments", organizations such as the American Medical Association have in the last decade released statements saying that research supports the effectiveness and "medical necessity" of treatments such as surgery for individuals with gender dysphoria.

The vote followed a day of aggressive lobbying by LGBT advocates and supporters to reject the proposal, which Hartzler introduced July 12. Currently, the military branches allow current transgender service members to serve openly, but the Defense Department has delayed by six months the deadline by which the various branches were expected to begin allowing new transgender recruits.

Rep. Hartzler stated that she was pleased with the decision to delay the enlistment policy, and will continue to press for a full reversal of the Defense Department's transgender policy. All Ohio Republicans supported Hartzler's proposal.

All the Republicans on the Committee voted for it.

Her new amendment about medical care was approved by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday night.

Another amendment submitted to the Rules Committee by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) would express the sense of Congress LGBT service members, including transgender personnel, should "be commended for their service to the United States".

"We need every defense dollar to defend against those threats, and not anything else". Ash Carter said previous year, when he announced the policy to allow transgender service, that a study by the RAND Corporation found health care "costs would be minimal" and that "the medical treatment that service members who are now transgender require is fairly straightforward, well understood".

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