Mar 9, 2019

Medicaid to cover sex reassignment surgery in Iowa

Photo: picture alliance/Getty Images

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Friday to uphold the lower court's decision, nullifying the state's limit on Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery, reports NBC News.

The bottom line: Medical experts concluded that 2 women who filed suit, EerieAnna Good and Carol Anne Beal, both had gender dysphoria — which the American Medical Association acknowledges as a potentially life-threatening condition — and needed sex reassignment surgery. The court asserted that they were denied the surgery because they were "related to gender identity disorders," adding that Medicaid approves payment for some cosmetic surgeries deemed necessary for psychological reasons, such as "disfiguring scarring and congenital anomalies."

Why it matters: Including this outcome, 11 states, plus the District of Columbia now cover transition-related surgeries through their public health insurance programs, per the ACLU.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.