Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced in June that his department will pay for transgender conversion surgeries for veterans who experience gender dysphoria, NPR reported.
Following lockstep with other agencies in the trans-obsessed Biden administration, McDonough said he reversed the VA’s ban based on a “unanimous recommendation from the governing body” and its assertion that “transgender veterans who suffer from gender dysphoria and who get treated in this way have a dramatically better outlook on mental health.”
In a July 15 letter to McDonough, Republicans on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the Health Subcommittee demanded “in the strongest possible terms” that McDonough “reverse” the policies put in place during the Trump administration to block taxpayers from subsidizing the nonessential cosmetic surgeries.
HVAC Health Subcommittee ranking member Jack Bergman, R-Mich., and HVAC ranking member Mike Bost, R-Ill., sent the letter with support from 40 Congressional Republicans, according to a press release.
Bergman, a retired Marine Lt. General, and Bost argued against taxpayer-funded the surgeries for two reasons: they do not improve health outcomes for patients with gender dysphoria, and they siphon resources from serious health problems facing veterans, such as toxic exposure.
“Veterans struggling with gender identity are at a high risk of suicide and self-harm,” the Republicans wrote. “Yet some studies have found that their risk of mental health issues and mortality is no lower following gender transition surgeries than before.”
They stopped short, however, making the full case for opposing government-subsidized gender reassignments, including the possibility that they may exacerbate serious mental-health issues.
Numerous studies have found that overall mortality—in particular, death from suicide—was higher for “sex-reassigned persons” than it was in a control group of biologically gendered individuals.
The surgeries also pull doctors away from treating veterans with physical illnesses.
“The VA should not be prioritizing and paying for gender transition surgeries while thousands of Veterans with toxic exposures get ignored and pushed to the back of the line, or while other Veterans are still facing wait times for care,” Bergman said.
“The VA’s continued failure to prioritize Veterans who truly need help while politicizing the Department is unacceptable and must be stopped,” he added.