June 19, 2021

Palm Center Statement on Department of Veterans Affairs’ New Policy of Health Equity for Transgender Veterans

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of a new policy to provide comprehensive health care for transgender veterans:

“VA’s important new policy revision delivers on our country’s legal and moral commitment to take care of all veterans, eliminating the discriminatory exclusion denying medically necessary care to transgender veterans.

“Health care for our veterans should be based on a single standard of care rooted in equity and fairness. This principle is already established by VA’s medical benefits package, which requires the department to provide eligible veterans with health care that accords with widely accepted standards of medical practice. The consensus of the American MedicalAssociation, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and six former U.S. Surgeons General is that transgender-inclusive health care clearly meets those requirements. The new policy will bring VA’s health care for transgender veterans in line with the medical community’s standard of care.”

The Palm Center is also releasing a Myth & Fact sheet outlining top misconceptions about VA health care for transgender veterans, which can be viewed here.