Emily Rice Published

Morrisey Argues Against Gender Affirming Care Through Medicaid

On Thursday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office argued a case before the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals involving the state’s decision not to cover gender-affirming surgeries under its Medicaid plan.

That case is an appeal from an order last year from a federal district court. It said the state’s choice not to cover gender-affirming care under Medicaid violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. 

The original class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on behalf of three Medicaid recipients. Christopher Fain, a Medicaid participant; and Zachary Martell and Brian McNemar, a dependent and state employee, respectively.

Usually, three-judge panels decide cases on appeal, but the Fourth Circuit set the argument before the entire court in this case and a related case out of North Carolina.

For now, gender-affirming care is covered under the state’s Medicaid program.