Federal policy was changed this weekend after Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough (chief of staff for former President Obama) announced that veterans will have access to "gender-affirming" operations. Sadly, this comes despite the fact that the number of vets requesting doctor's appointments and medical assistance for service-related issues backlogs.
There are approximately 134,000 transgender U.S. veterans, according to a report by the National Center for Transgender Equality compared to 18 million veterans overall. What this policy change makes clear during Pride Month, is that it has been deemed more important to be politically correct than to take care of the vastly greater need for veterans who are experiencing PTSD, cancer-related issues and more from exposure to toxins from their time in service.
The backlog for veterans to receive health care continues to escalate. For example, the number of veterans in North Georgia who applied for medical care last September was reported to be 6,700. By May that number had escalated to 18,000. Sadly, the number of doctors available and budget issues have put lifesaving treatments on hold for some, yet now the Veterans Affairs Department will push sex change operations to the forefront. Although the VA said it was unsure of the cost of such a move, a report in PJ Media states, "These surgeries, which involve the removal of healthy sexual organs, can cost as much as $200,000."
Representative Mike Bost, R-Il., the ranking member of the Veteran's Affairs Committee, said of this policy change, "Since the Biden administration took over, I have asked for vital information so that we can calculate the number of veterans who have been exposed to toxic agents during their service and how we can help them. I have tried for months now to get a response from Secretary McDonough or anyone in the Biden administration.
"To date, they have been unable to provide that information, but yet they can find time to make 'gender affirming' operations available for veterans even though it has nothing to do with an actual injury incurred during service," Bost said. "My question is, where is this money for these operations going to come from? Are we going to take it from the veteran who actually lost a limb, or an eye or has PTSD?"
VA officials have estimated approximately 4,000 veterans may take advantage of the new policy.
According to McDonough, "There are several steps to take, which will take time. But we are moving ahead, methodically, because we want this important change in policy to be implemented in a manner that has been thoroughly considered to ensure that the services made available to veterans meet VA's rigorous standards for quality health care."
I'm sure the 18 million veterans currently in the United States, many who are experiencing health issues created by their time in service, are wondering why we are not moving ahead just as methodically to ensure they are receiving quality health care rather than diverting the funds, already in short supply, to fix an issue not service related.
To make your voice heard and speak out for our veterans who are not receiving prompt medical treatment as well as the travesty that medical dollars for vets are now going to non-service related issues, email: Denis.McDonough@va.gov.
Karen Hardin is a literary agent and writer. She is the author of Infected: How to Stop the Global Spread of Rage, Deception and Insanity. Her work has been published in USA Today, Intercessors for America, Charisma, CBN.com and more. She is also the co-founder of the City-by-City prayer movement.
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