Republicans fail to strip trans medical rights from US defence bill
Efforts to strip away transgender medical rights in the US military by a Republican have failed.
The House Rules Committee on Wednesday night approved an amendment by Vicky Hartzler to the 2018 bill which would have specifically banned trans people from being able to get hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery in the military.
The text of the amendment read: “Funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care…”
It is estimated that there are more than 6,500 transgender people in active military service.
The amendment was defeated in an extremely close vote of 214-209 by the US House.
It was one of 122 amendments voted on by the House.
Transgender troops have been able to serve openly since October 2016 but provisions to allow transgender people to enlist have been delayed by at least six months, after being set to take effect on 1 July.
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According to a study by RAND, the cost of providing the medical treatment is relatively low.
The study estimated that between 30 and 140 people would seek hormone treatments per year and 25 to 130 would seek gender reassignment surgeries.
The American Medical Association has made clear that medical treatment for transgender people is necessary.
During the committee hearing which approved Hartzler’s amendment, Democratic Representative Jared Polis tried to strip the amendment from the bill.
All the Republicans on the Committee voted for it.