The Obama administration on Friday ended a 33-year ban on Medicare coverage for gender reassignment surgery — a major victory for transgender rights and a decision that is likely to put pressure on more insurers to provide coverage for such services.
The ruling by a Department of Health and Human Services board was in response to a lawsuit filed last year on behalf of Denee Mallon, 74, a transgender woman and army veteran from Albuquerque.
And this week, Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to grace the cover of TIME. "We are in a place now where more and more trans people want to come forward and say 'This is who I am,'" Cox told the magazine. "We are the reason. And we are setting the agenda in a different way."