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NC transgender healthcare case could be a landmark for trans rights

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Via Creative Commons

A North Carolina case about transgender health care could become a landmark case for trans rights.

Transgender people sued the North Carolina State Health Plan over its policy to not cover gender transition surgery and other kinds of care.

Lawyers for the plan say the policy is the same for everyone across the board, adding that all health insurance policies make decisions about what to cover or not cover.

Tara Bonelli, a lawyer representing the trans plaintiffs, says that's generally true, but not when coverage decisions discriminate based on sex.

"Defendants have yet to offer a persuasive argument for how a ban on sex changes is somehow not based on sex, she said."

Arguments were held in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Regardless of how the court rules, it could be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Jason deBruyn
Jason deBruyn is the WUNC data reporter, a position he took in September, 2016.