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Groups sue Florida over Medicaid ban on gender-affirming care

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“All trans people want to do is live more closely and align with who we are,” said August Dekker, one of the plaintiffs. | Hollie Adams/Getty Images By Arek Sarkissian 09/07/2022 03:53 PM EDT Link CopiedTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A coalition of transgender rights groups sued Florida over new regulations that block the state’s Medicaid program from covering the costs associated with gender-affirming care.The lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Tallahassee federal court, argues the ban, which Florida’s chief Medicaid regulator finalized last month, violates the federal equal protection clause and prevents an estimated 9,000 transgender state Medicaid enrollees from receiving critical gender-affirming care.Florida is one of at least 10 states in the country that block Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care, which can include behavioral therapy, hormone-blocking medications and, in rare instances, surgery.Carl Charles, a senior attorney for the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal, which is one of the organizations that brought the suit, said the move to ban coverage is all the more concerning since Florida had covered gender-affirming care costs for years.“This is a 180 for Florida, and is particularly troubling because they’ve been covering this care without issue in their Medicaid program for years,” Charles said. “So to take this affirmative step in the wrong direction is troubling to say the least.”The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four plaintiffs — August Dekker, Brit Rothstein, and two 12-year-old children identified in the lawsuit as “Susan,” who is a transgender girl, and “K.F.,” who is a transgender boy.Dekker, a 28-year-old transgender man from Hernando County, said during a news conference announcing the.

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