Transgender former state worker settles lawsuit for $27,000

By : wire report
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) | A former Iowa State University employee will get a settlement of more than $27,000 from the state after claiming discrimination in the way the university managed its health insurance for transgender employees.

Elyn Fritz-Waters sued the state in January when her employee health insurance denied care for gender dysphoria, which included her request for hormone therapy and a sex reassignment surgery.

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Iowa governor signs bill limiting funds for sex-reassignment

By : wire report
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Above: (Gov. Kim Reynolds)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) | Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a budget bill that prohibits the use of Medicaid funding to pay for sex-reassignment surgery.

The Republican governor signed the Health and Human Services funding bill on May 3 and opted not to issue a line item veto of the ban on public funding for such surgeries.

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Trump seeks $300 million to beat HIV by 2030 — but cuts global programs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of President Trump’s State of the Union pledge to eliminate new HIV infections by 2030, his newly unveiled budget request for the U.S. government provides additional funds for domestic HIV/AIDS programs in contrast to earlier proposals that sought to cut those programs — but related international programs are facing cuts.

The fiscal year 2020 budget requests a $300 million increase in funds to combat HIV/AIDS, but also seeks to roll back Medicare and Medicaid — programs on which many people with HIV/AIDS rely — and continues the proposed steep cuts to U.S. initiatives seeking to fight the global epidemic.

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Iowa court: Medicaid can cover sex reassignment surgery

By : Wire Report
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The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling March 8 that says the state cannot deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery.

The state’s high court agreed with Judge Arthur Gamble’s ruling in June that a 1995 Iowa Department of Human Services policy denying Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery violates the state’s 2007 Civil Rights Act, which added gender identity to the state’s list of protected classes.

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Surgery coverage for Wisconsin transgender workers restored

By : wire report
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) |  A Wisconsin board that oversees insurance for state employees has voted to restore coverage for sex reassignment procedures for transgender workers.

The Group Insurance Board voted 5-4 Wednesday to cover sex reassignment surgery and related treatments for transgender people seeking to match their sex to their gender identity, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Sex reassignment surgery will be covered for state workers starting Jan. 1.

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Another Trump budget, another attempt to cut HIV/AIDS programs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is promoting a Trump budget that makes HIV cuts. Photo by Gage Skidmore; courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

New year, new cuts to HIV/AIDS programs. President Trump’s proposed $4.4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2019 is most prominently characterized by soaring deficits, but also calls for varying degrees of cuts to HIV/AIDS programs reminiscent of his earlier request.

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Illinois governor candidate stands by ad blasted as transphobic

By : wire report
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CHICAGO (AP) — A Republican lawmaker trying to unseat Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is standing by a campaign ad that has been blasted as racist and homophobic, despite the state party chairman’s call for her to stop airing it and apologize.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a social and fiscal conservative, said the ad that began airing this weekend illustrates the GOP governor’s “chosen constituents based on the policy choices he made” and primary voters need to know about his record.

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How Trumpcare, or its Senate component, may affect the LGBT community

By : Billy Manes
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“This is a funeral procession. When we get to Sen. Marco Rubio’s office, we’ll have speakers and then we’ll have a die-in,” was the rallying call on June 28 as protesters took to the streets to march against the competing Republican agendas meant to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. The march, which started at Orlando City Hall and ended up across the street at Rubio’s home away from home, was blotted by rain and was suitably somber.

“What do we want? Healthcare. When do we want it? Now,” was the refrain as dozens of people walked the street in favor of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and those who were simply blocked out of coverage by Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid to nearly one million people caught in the coverage gap. Likewise, others just saw the crumbling pieces of the nation’s healthcare conundrum, currently being argued between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate regarding a complete overhaul of medical care in the United States.

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New York proposes transgender hormone Medicaid revision

By : Wire Report
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York officials have proposed authorizing coverage for transgender hormone therapy for patients under 18 in the state’s Medicaid program for low-income New Yorkers.

The proposal issued this week would amend regulations issued almost two years ago.

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AIDS foundation scammed Medicare for $20M, suit says

By : Wire Report
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Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP) – One of the nation’s largest suppliers of HIV and AIDS medical care is accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid in an elaborate $20 million dollar scam that spanned 12 states, according to a lawsuit filed in South Florida federal court.

Three former managers of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a suit last week alleging the company paid employees and patients kickbacks for patient referrals in an effort to boost funding from federal health programs. Employees were paid $100 bonuses for referring patients with positive test results to its clinics and pharmacies. The lawsuit alleges kickbacks started in 2010 at the company’s California headquarters and spread to programs in Florida and several other locations.

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